The Court of Appeal on Wednesday fixed Feb.8 for to hear Abdulrasheed Maina’s appeal challenging the judgment of a trial court sentencing him to eight years imprisonment for N2 billion pension fraud.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arraigned Maina before Justice Okon Abang of a federal high court, on Oct. 25, 2019.
Maina is charged alongside , his firm, Common Input Property and Investment Ltd, on 12 counts of money laundering.
Abang on Nov. 8 sentenced the former chairperson of the defunct Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT), to eight years’ imprisonment for money laundering offences involving N2billion in pension fund.
Maina not satisfied filed an appeal at the appellate court challenging the judgment.
The appeal court slated to be heard on Wednesday was adjourned until Feb. 8 over the inablity of the appellent’s counsel to follow court guildelines in filing his suit.
The three-member panel headed by Justice Haruna Tsammani fixed the date pointing out that the appellant must comply with the rule of the court.
He said the appellant did not comply with order 19 rule 3 of the court’s direction on filing, adding that the font size was not in compliance with the order.
“You can not comply with the rules of the court you go back and comply with it” he said.
When the appeal was called, the appellant’s counsel led by Olusegun Jolaawo, SAN, told the court they were ready to argue their appeal.
Mr. Farouk Abdullahi, EFCC equally told the court he was ready.
Unfortunately, the panel found out that the appellant did not comply with the rules of the court in filing the suit.
In that judgment, justice Abang sentenced him to various jail terms ranging from three to eight years, which are to run concurrently.
He was sentenced to three years for count 1, five years for count 2, eight years for count 3, eight years for count 4, two years for count 5, five years for count 6, and eight years in count seven.
He also sentenced him to three years on count 8, five years for count 9, eight years for count 10, three years for count 11 and three years for count 12.
He ordered that the terms of imprisonment shall run concurrently beginning from October 25, 2019, the date he was arraigned.
Justice Abang ordered that Common Input Property and Investment Ltd’s punishment, should be wound up and its assets forfeited to the federal government.
In the charge marked FHC/ABJ/CR/256/2019, EFCC alleged that Maina used fictitious names to open and operate various bank accounts.
It added that he recruited his relatives that were bankers to operate fake bank accounts through which illicit funds were channelled.
EFCC further alleged that sums of N300million, N500million and N1.5billion were stolen by from pensioners, were deposited in the accounts. (NAN)