A Federal High Court in Abuja has sentenced Faisal, the 21-year- old son of a former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT), Abdulrasheed Maina, to 14 years in prison on charges of money laundering.

Justice Okon Abang in a judgment on Thursday found Faisal guilty on the three-count money laundering charge brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).  Justice Abang sentenced Faisal to five years each in relation to counts one and three, and to 14 years on count two, which sentences, the judge added, are to run concurrently, beginning from the day of the judgment.

The judge held among others, that the prosecution effectively discharge the burden placed on it by law to prove the offenses charged beyond a reasonable doubt.

While noting that the prosecution successfully established that Faisal, operated a fictitious account with a new generation bank through which his father, Maina, laundered N58.1million, Justice Abang held that the fund, which was deposited into the account that was operated in the name of Alhaji Faisal Farm 2, was sequentially withdrawn by Faisal and his father between October 2013 and June 2019.

Expressing satisfaction that the prosecution team, led by Mohammed Abubakar (now a judge of the Sharia Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory -FCT), proved all the essential ingredients of the charge, the judge dded that the defendant reasonably ought to have known that inflows into the bank account formed proceeds of an unlawful act of corruption by his father.

The judge then ordered Faisal, who the prosecution claimed jumped bail and escaped to the United States, should be arrested anywhere he is found in Nigeria and remanded in any correctional centre.

He added that in the event that Faisal is traced to anywhere outside the country, the Federal Government, “shall legally or lawfully commence extradition proceeds to bring him into the country to serve the jail term”.

The judge ordered that the company through which the fund was laundered, Alhaji Faisal Farm 2, be wound up, with funds in it forfeited to the government.

Faisal, whose father is also being tried in the same court for money laundering-related offences, was arraigned in October 2019.

He ceased to attend court from June 24, 2020, after he was granted bail.

Upon application by the prosecution, in which it claimed Faisal jumped bail and escaped to the US, the court revoked his bail and issued a bench warrant for his arrest.

The court then proceeded to try him in absentia following is failure to return for the case.

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