Goodwin Tsa, Abuja
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday got legal backings to detain former Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team, Mr Abdulrasheed Maina and his son, Faisal, in its custody, longer than the period allowed by the Constitution, pending the conclusion of ongoing investigation.
Specifically, a high court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) sitting in Bwari division, had on October 7 granted the Commission’s exparte application to remand Maina in it’s custody forr an initial period of 14 days.
According to a statement by the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, the order was subject to review if necessary.
Recalled that Maina and his son were arrested at an Abuja hotel by the Department of State Services (DSS) and were subsequently handed to the EFCC for further investigation and prosecution on allegations of fraud and money laundering to the tune of N2.1 billion.
Before he was handed over to the commission last Wednesday, Maina had been evading arrest for over four years.
He had been charged alongside a former head of service, Steve Oronsaye, Osarenkhoe Afe, Fredrick Hamilton and Global Services Ltd. before a Federal High Court on 24 counts bordering on procurement fraud and obtaining by false pretence, in July 2015, but he absconded from the country.
Maina in January 2019, secured a court order stopping the EFCC from declaring him wanted.
A federal high court judge, Justice Giwa Ogunbanjo described the action of the anti-graft agency in declaring Maina wanted as “unlawful”.
A non-governmental organisation, Centre for Law and Civil Culture, had approached a federal high court in Lagos to compel the AGF to account for the assets recovered from Maina.
The suit marked FHC/L/CS/756/2019 has the EFCC as the second respondent.
The group is seeking a mandamus order to compel the AGF and the EFCC to provide it with information on the 270 landed properties, exotic cars, money and other valuables allegedly recovered from Maina.
The group said its suit followed the alleged refusal of the EFCC to oblige its request for information via a December 28, 2018 letter