The Court of Appeal in Abuja has upheld the eight-year sentence and conviction of Abdulrasheed Maina, the former chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team, for money laundering. The court affirmed the judgement of the Federal High Court, Abuja, which had found Maina guilty of laundering N2.1 billion. The decision was delivered by a three-member panel, with Justice Elfreda Williams-Daudu delivering the lead judgement.
During the trial, Maina had appealed against various interlocutory rulings. However, the Court of Appeal affirmed these rulings and rejected Maina’s arguments that he had been denied a fair hearing by the trial court. The court also held that the prosecution had proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt.
In November 2021, Justice Okon Abang of the Abuja High Court had convicted Maina of money laundering after finding him guilty of laundering N171,099,000. The judge had also found Maina guilty of concealing his true identity as a signatory to accounts opened in UBA and Fidelity Bank, using the identities of his family members without their knowledge. These accounts had cash deposits of N300m, N500m, and N1.5bn.
With this recent ruling, Maina will continue to serve his eight-year sentence for money laundering. The court’s decision reaffirms the commitment of the Nigerian justice system to fight corruption and ensure that justice is served, regardless of the social standing of the accused.
In conclusion, the Court of Appeal has upheld the conviction and sentence of Abdulrasheed Maina for money laundering. The ruling underscores the importance of the fight against corruption in Nigeria and reinforces the message that no one is above the law.