Alleged pension fraud: I did not plot to assassinate anyone, escape from prison–Maina


By Agency Report

Abdulrasheed Maina, former Chairman, defunct Pension Reformed Task Team (PRTT), on Thursday said that he did not plot to assassinate the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) counsel or witnesses in his ongoing trial.

Maina, who told Justice Okon Abang of a Federal High Court, Abuja, in a counter-affidavit to EFCC motion on notice to seek for revocation of his bail, said the allegation to also assassinate correctional service officers in order to escape from custody was baseless.

The ex-pension boss said he strongly believed in his innocence and would “remain in Nigeria until he clears himself of all the malicious allegations the EFCC has fed the public against him.”

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Justice Abang had, on Jan. 28, varied Miana’s bail conditions, following his inability to meet the bail terms granted him on Nov. 26, 2019. Maina, who had pleaded with the court to further vary the already varied bail terms, insisted that he had been unable to get a senator to stand as surety for his release.

 However, the EFCC had urged the court to cancel Maina’s bail (though still in custody), alleging that he had perfected plans to assassinate prosecution witnesses and counsel in the matter.

The commission also alleged that Maina had also “perfected plans to escape from custody and abscond; and in the process assassinate Nigerian Correctional Service officials attached to him.”

Reacting in a counter-affidavit deposed to by one Abass Sanni, a legal practitioner in M/s Law Forte, Maina vehemently denied the allegations, describing it as “unfounded and unsubstantiated.”

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“He (Maina) has never planned or attempted to escape from the correctional facility (prison).

“He has NEVER threatened to assassinate, harassed and or intimidated any of the prosecutors, correctional service officers or witnesses whatsoever in this matter or in any other matter.

“He will never threaten, harass and or intimidate any of the prosecutors or witnesses in this matter,” the application read.

Maina said that the EFCC was deliberately misleading the honorable court “so as to ensure that the honourable court does not favourably exercise its discretion in the consideration of his application to further vary the terms and conditions of the bail granted to him.”

He said the so-called intelligence received by the EFCC were baseless, concocted and untrue.

“He (Maina) cannot even travel out or move out of the country as the he has been put under a travel ban.

“All his international passports (Nigerian and American) have all been handed over to the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, pursuant to an order made by the learned trial judge, Abubakar Kutigi, J. in Charge No. FCT/HC/CR/24/19, on Nov. 28, 2019.

“The complainant’s  (EFCC) prosecutor, M.S. Abubbakar Esq, confirmed his fulfilment of the terms and conditions of the bail granted to him by the learned trial judge, Abubakar Kutigi, J. in Charge No. FCT/HC/CR/24/19 – FRN vs Abdulrasheed Maina & Anor, on Nov. 28, 2019, inclusive the handover of his international passports (Nigerian and American) before the learned trial judgment upon being satisfied with the fulfilment of the bail conditions, ordered his release from prisons with respect to the charge in Charge No. FCT/HC/CR/24/19 – FRN vs Abdulrasheed Maina & Anor,” the application read.

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Maina, who stated that he had never and would “never attempt to influence, interfere with, intimidate witnesses, and or interfere in the prosecution of any of the cases involving him,” said he had “never had any direct or indirect, physical or telephone contact with any prospective witness or any of the prosecutors in this matter from prison.”

“None of the witnesses has lodged any complaint to the police or law enforcement agencies or any court whatsoever about his (Maina) plan to assassinate, intimidate, threat, abuse and or attack any of the prosecutors, correctional facility officers, any witness and or person whatsoever, against him since the commencement of investigation and trial.

“No complaint has been made against him to the Nigerian Correctional Service for any act of violence, criminality or plan to commit any offence whatsoever while in their custody.

“He has been a good inmate at the Correctional Facility in Kuje and has never been placed on lock-down or isolation on account of any bad behaviour.

“At no time whatsoever in the cause of the investigation leading to this investigation or during the trial, has he deployed any alleged threats and criminal intimidation as his “stock in trade,” it concluded.

NAN reports that Justice Abang had, on Wednesday, adjourned to take the arguments of the parties in the suit until March 16. (NAN)


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