Pension fraud: Maina regains freedom after nine months in detention

A former Chairman of Pension Reformed Task Team (PRTT), Mr. Abdulrasheed Maina, has been released from Kuje Correctional Centre in Abuja, nine months after his arrest.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had arraigned Maina before Okon Abang, a judge of the federal high court, Abuja, on October 25, 2019 for alleged complicity in over N 2 billion Pensions Biometric Scam in the office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation

He was arraigned alongside Faisal, his son, and firm, Common Input Property and Investment Ltd.

In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Maina’s lawyer, Mr. Adeola Adedipe, said his client was released on Monday evening after completing the necessary documents for his bail.

Adedipe said his client ought to have been released on July 24 but it was delayed due to administrative procedures.

“It was already late last week Friday so they now have a new timeline shifted at 6 O’clock. We went there and everything was done,” he said.

On why Maina had been kept in detention after Abang further varied his bail conditions on June 29, the lawyer said: “It was also administrative. There were lapses here and there; transmission of processes from one department of government to another.”

Adedipe expressed delight over his client’s release, saying it would not only afford him the opportunity to get adequate medical attention but also enable him prepare for trial.

“We can only thank God and this is good for us because we will now have time to prepare for his defence; we will now have good conferencing on the matter,” he said.

“We will have a better perspective of what the case is all about. And this will also allow him to treat himself you know he has been very ill in order to stand the trial.”

Afam Osigwe, another counsel of Maina, also confirmed his release from the correctional centre.

“Yes, Maina came out yesterday (Monday). We have met all the bail conditions but they did not release him until yesterday,” he said.

Through Joe Gadzama, another of his lawyer, Maina had on June 23, informed the court that Senator Ali Ndume, representing Borno South, had decided to stand as surety for him.

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