A defence witness, Ngozika Ihuoma, yesterday indicted the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and its sacked Acting Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, in the ongoing trial of Abdulrasheed Maina, former chairman of the defunct Pension Reformed Task Team (PRTT). Ihuoma, a management consultant, whose firm, Crincad & Cari Nigeria Limited was contracted by the PRTT for consultancy service, also told Justice Okon Abang how a renowned lawyer allegedly acquired a recovered property from the EFCC even while the property was still a subject of litigation.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that Justice Abang on February 25, ordered Maina to open his defence in the charge preferred against him by the EFCC after the prosecution closed its case. Though Maina had intended to apply for a nocase submission, the judge foreclosed his right to make the application on December 21, 2020, ruling that the pension reformed boss had adequate time and facility to make the submission, but failed to do so. The witness, while being led in evidence-in-chief by Maina’s lawyer, Adeola Olawale, said the PRTT wrote to President Muhammadu Buhari on assumption of office in 2015 of its willingness to make available intelligence that would lead to the recovery of N3 trillion hidden in some undisclosed accounts in some banks.
“By January 2016, the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and the National Security Adviser (NSA) met with Maina in Dubai, United Arab Emirate (UAE). “After the meeting in Dubai, Maina gave the delegation intelligence report that led to the recovery of N1.3 trillion out of the N3 trillion promised to be recovered by him. “The money was reported to the Senate committee that investigated Maina’s reinstatement into the civil service in 2017.
“Equally, the task team petitioned the Senate on the need to revisit the 7th Assembly Joint Committee that its report was quashed by the Federal High Court in view of the fact that the 222 choice property valued at N1.63 trillion that was handed over to the EFCC have started being mismanaged. “One of the properties in question, located at No 42, Gana Street, Maitama, had been illegally acquired by a renowned lawyer while the property was still a subject of litigation,” he said.