Ex-pension chief Maina wanted in Niamey over $1.7m stashed in house

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Abdulrasheed Maina, former Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team, now facing trial in Nigeria for stealing pension money, is also wanted in neighbouring Niger Republic after the authorities found $1.7million cash in his house in Niamey.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission revealed this in its affidavit to block the bail request for the former fugitive over ill-health. Maina is facing trial before Justice Okon Abang a 12-count charge of money laundering. His trial, alongside his son, began 25 October.

EFCC contends in the affidavit that Maina could run away from Nigeria as he has refused to submit his American passport. Maina and his wife are said to be American citizens and naturalized citizens of the United Arab Emirates.

Maina on wheelchair in court.

According to a report published in The Nation, the EFCC insists that the accused person is healthy and there is nothing showing that his purported/”reported” ailment cannot be taken care of in Nigeria by the complainant/applicant or that our medical facilities are inadequate.

Although his trial was expected to begin in full force on Tuesday, Maina was absent with a report from Medium Security Custodial Centre, Kuje, claiming that he had severe headache. On Thursday, he appeared in court in a more dramatic manner: on a wheelchair.

The EFCC said it is opposed to bail for Maina who is standing trial for alleged N3billion fraud with Common Input Property and Investment Limited.

The affidavit was deposed to by one of the crack detectives of the EFCC, Mr. Mohammed U. Goji, against the backdrop of the battle for bail by Maina in the court.

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Among others, EFCC said: “That the defendant and his wife have established businesses in Dubai where they are residents since fleeing Nigeria. They also own the home they live in Dubai. While the 1st defendant/ applicant owns and runs a car rent business (called North Ridge), the wife runs a cleaning services business (spotless and flawless cleaning).

The EFCC said it has uncovered desperate plans of Maina to take flight and leave the shores of Nigeria as soon as he is released on bail.

The EFCC dismissed claims by Maina that he is unhealthy and would need treatment abroad.


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