At the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Wednesday, presided over by Justice Okon Abang, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) witness, Rouqayya Ibrahim,(PW9) told the court that Abdulrasheed Maina, used the names of his family members to operate Fidelity and United Bank of Africa (UBA)
Maina, the former Chairman of the Pension Reform Taskforce Team, is being prosecuted by the EFCC on charges of money laundering involving N2bn.
During cross-examination of the trial today, the defendant counsel, Anayo Adibe, asked Rouquayya Ibrahim if she was there when Abdulrasheed Maina opened various accounts in Fidelity Bank and UBA.
Responding, she said she was not physically there, however in the course of the EFCC investigation, the banks disclosed how he opened the accounts through his family members names and operated the accounts himself. She made an emphasis to exhibits D2(Statement of account with Fidelity Bank of Gonkolo cleaning services), D5(Account opening package for Nafisatu Aliyu with Fidelity Bank) and D7(Account opening package for Faisal Abdullahi with Fidelity Bank)
She said “The defendant concealing his identity, used the information of his family members to open the account and operate the account.
“The photographs that appeared on the account packages are not the owners of the accounts.
“The photographs are not Maina’s face, however, he supplied those pictures.
“I was informed by the banks that he supplied the photographs; I was not physically there.
“All the responses that we received from the banks were received based on our investigation activities.
“The funds must have been derived from the proceed of crimes… illegitimate sources.
“The defendant was in the habit of collecting cash payments from his staff and the account officers collecting these funds make deposits using different names,” she said.
She said all transactions were carried out by Maina including transactions that appeared to be Nafisatu Aliyu and Fatima Aliyu.
Maina’s lawyer, Anayo prayed the court to adjourn the trial so he could get and study the documents cited by the witness.
He argued that he is new in the case.
But Justice Abang objected, saying that the defendant was not new in the matter adding that it was unfair to ask for adjournment and the defendant counsel’s prayers lacked merit.
“The first defendant counsel is not standing trial but the defendant. It is not the court to tell the counsel on what to do.
“I refuse adjournment on this. Maina was on the run when nobody pursued him,” he fumed.