By Ameh Ejekwonyilo
Police operatives have apprehended Faisal Maina, son of the former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reformed Taskforce Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, who was deported from Niger, where he took to flight.
The trial judge, Justice Okon Abang was told on Thursday by a lawyer to the House of Representatives member, Mr.
Umar Dan-Galadima who is standing as surety to the fugitive Faisal, that the latter had been nabbed by the Nigerian authorities.
This development came barely one week after Maina who had jumped bail in his ongoing N2 billion money laundering trial at the Federal High Court in Abuja was arrested in the Republic of Niger and extradited to Nigeria before being brought before the court in Abuja to face his traial, which he wanted to run away from.
Faisal, who is being prosecuted on a separate three-count charge of money laundering at the same court, had jumped bail and stopped attending trial, but his trial had continued in his absence, th eJudge having been satisfied that all relevant legal procedures for trial in absentia had been met.
Justice Okon Abang of November 24, 2020, revoked the bail granted him and ordered his arrest whywere he is seen around the world.
The judge also ordered the fleeing defendant’s surety, who is a member of the House of Representatives representing Kaura-Namoda Federal Constituency, Hon. Umar Dan-Galadima, to appear in court.
However, at Thursday’s resumed hearing in the case, the surety’s lawyer, Mr. M. E. Sheriff, begged the court to suspend the hearing of the forfeiture proceedings on the grounds that he got credible information that Faisal had been arrested.
“My lord, I was reliably informed that the Defendant had been arrested. He was arrested last night and he is in custody,” the lawyer said.
In his reaction to the development, the prosecuting lawyer, Mr. Faruk Abdullah, confirmed the arrest but said the defendant had not been handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
It would be recalled that the EFCC had alleged that Maina’s son had sometime between 2013 and 2019, received the sum of N58.11million, being proceeds of a corrupt act by his father.
He was also accused of failing to properly declare his assets before the EFCC.
Faisal had reportedly pulled a gun to challenge operatives of the State Security Service (SSS) that arrested his father at a hotel in Abuja on September 30, 2019.