A Federal High Court in Abuja has granted an interim forfeiture order on 23 properties traced to the former boss of Pension Reform Task Team, Abdurasheed Maina.
Justice Folasade Giwa-Ogunbanjo granted the order on Tuesday after hearing an ex parte motion by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
Moving the ex parte motion, the EFCC’s counsel, Mohammed Abubakar, alleged that the properties were suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activities traced to Maina and his associates.
The court also gave an order directing the publication of the order of interim forfeiture in a national daily newspaper.
Abubakar said the newspaper publication was aimed at inviting any person or body with interest in the assets and properties listed in the schedule to show cause within 14 days of such publication why a final order of forfeiture to the Federal Government of the said assets and properties should not be made.
The motion was brought pursuant to Section 17(1) and (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006.
The properties include houses, estates, companies, among others, located in Abuja, Kaduna, Borno and Nasarawa states.
The houses include a two-bedroomed semidetached located at Life Camp, Abuja and a plot of land in Cadastral Zone, Utako, both acquired in Maina’s wife’s name.
They also include a duplex located in Kaduna acquired in his son’s name and a plot of land in Cadastral Zone acquired in his mother’s name.More in Home
There are also a duplex in Kubwa, Abuja acquired in Maina’s name; a three-bedroomed bungalow acquired in the name of a company where his relations are directors, and a farm in Karshi, Nasarawa State acquired in the son’s name.
The application was supported by a 30-paragraph affidavit deposed to by one Mohammed Goji with 34 exhibits attached.
The deponent averred that sometime in 2010, the commission was invited by the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation to assist in the verification biometric exercise of the Federal Civil Service pensioners, saying, “That in the course of the exercise, two fake pensioners were discovered, leading to a large scale investigation for more fake pensioners.
“That in the course of investigation, it was discovered that large scale corruption in the form of stealing and money laundering of pension fund had taken place, spearheaded by one Abdulrasheed Maina, who was the chairman of PRTT along with his accomplices.
“That the said Abdulrasheed Maina alongside one of his cohorts, Stephen Oronsanye, the former Head of the Civil Service of the Federation had set out to siphon funds belonging to the Federal Civil Service pensioners by setting up a fraudulent nationwide biometric enrolment exercise for pensioners on Federal Government payroll under the auspices of a Pension Reform Committee.”
The matter was adjourned till November 19 for mention.