Maina gave me N150 million cash, in dollars, to pay for property – Brother

Abdulrasheed Maina
Abdulrasheed Maina

Khalid Aliyu, a younger brother to the former chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT), Abdulrasheed Maina, on Thursday, told the Federal High Court in Abuja how he paid for a N150 million property at Life Camp District, FCT.

Mr Maina, who is accused of diverting pension funds worth N100 billion, is facing trial for alleged money laundering.

He is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a 12-count charge. He is also accused of operating fictitious accounts and carrying out other fraudulent activities.

He has denied the allegations.

His son, Faisal, who was arrested alongside his father in September, is accused of operating an account he used to divert various sums of money, including N58 million.

The two men were arraigned by the EFCC on October 25, on separate charges. They pleaded not guilty.

On Thursday, Mr Aliyu, who is the fifth prosecution witness in the ongoing trial, told the court that he paid for the property on behalf of his brother, Mr Maina.

The witness disclosed that the money, which was in dollars, was paid in cash to Ali Sani.

Giving his evidence-in-chief before the court, which was led by Mohammed Abubakar, Mr Aliyu said: “I know one Alhaji Ali Sani.

“The first defendant directed me or sent me on an errand to one Alhaji Ali Sani for payment of a property located at Life Camp, Abuja.

“The property was at the value of N150 million. The first defendant gave me the money cash at his residence in Kado Estate, Abuja, to deliver to Alhaji Sani at his residence.

“The money was in dollar currency. I delivered the money to Alhaji Ali Sani, at his residence.

“He collected, counted and confirmed with his people and handed over the documents of the property to deliver to the first defendant,” Mr Aliyu said.

According to him, Mr Maina is his brother, and they share the same father and mother.

More revelation

The witness, a civil servant, said he worked with a new generation bank between 2008 and 2012.

“I was an executive assistant as at that time. It is a position of relationship manager, in the private banking unit.

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“As relationship managers, we managed high network customers, we handled their transactions via telephone calls, text messages or walk-in transaction.

“We have a large lounge where we keep our customers separate from normal savings account holders,” he said.

Mr Aliyu also revealed how the bank account opened for his sister, Nafisat Aliyu, who was the fourth prosecution witness (PW4) in the trial, came about.

“At some point, my brother (Maina) requested me and my colleague, Toyin Meseke, to open a savings account for my sister, Nafisat Aliyu, although she was not aware of the transaction.

“We proceeded to her house at Wuse II at the time, collected the utility bill as part of the requirement to open the account.

“Later, Toyin collected a copy of her international passport from my brother, Maina, to complete the account opening because at the time. Nafisat was supposed to accompany our mother to hospital and her passport and my mother’s passport were with my brother for visa process.

“Toyin completed the account opening form and the account began transaction.

“Later on, my sister, Nafisat, complained to me that she was receiving alert indicating debit alerts. So I asked her to show me and advised her to meet my colleague, Toyin,” Mr Aliyu narrated.

Mr Aliyu added that “Mr Meseke is the one managing the account. He is aware of the in-flows and out-flows in the account, although the account, after being registered by him, was placed under my balance sheet, in order to boost my balance sheet.”

The witness also disclosed that a company, Cluster Logistics, which he was also a director, was registered by his friend, Sani Musa, with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) to begin a small scale business in addition with the banking job.

“My brother, the first defendant, was aware of our intention to start a small scale business.

“The first defendant requested we allowed him to use the company for official exercise, which we agreed to.

“He directed one Abubakar Mustapha to be a sole signatory.

“Even though Abubakar Mustpha was the identification on the account opening form, the first defendant was the signatory,” he told Justice Abang.

The matter was adjourned to January 16, for continuation.

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