The Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday rejected a request by Faisal, the son of the former Chairman of Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, to be moved from the Police Special Tactical Squad custody to the Prison.
Faisal was arraigned on October 25 on a three-count charge of money laundering and illegal operation of an account.
The prosecution alleged that he, sometimes between 2013 and 2019, received N58.11million, being proceeds of a corrupt act by his father.
He was also accused of failing to properly declare his assets before the EFCC.
After his arraignment, the court ordered his remand in Police custody pending the conclusion of the investigation of an allegation that he illegally possessed a firearm.
His lawyer, Francis Oronsaye, on Wednesday prayed the court to move his client to Kuje prison in Abuja, where his father, who is also on trial before the same court, was being held.
He said: “We believe this will make it easier for us to have access to him as against the current situation. We strongly believe that access to him is very fundamental to the preparation of his defence.”
Ruling, Justice Okon Abang rejected the request on the premise that the order remanding the defendant in police custody has not been set aside.
He said the court could no longer go back on the issue since it has already ruled on where the defendant should be kept pending the determination of his bail application.
The prosecution opened its case, during which it called its first witness, a banker, Mrs Mairo Bashir, who admitted before the court that she opened 12 bank accounts for Maina and some members of his family.
Led in evidence by the prosecution lawyer, Mohammed Abubakar, Mrs Bashir said Maina deposited N3billion into his account.
She said her scope of duties included sourcing of deposits from both commercial and individual customers, as well as opening and re-activation of accounts.
Asked if she could identify Maina’s son who was in the dock, the witness said: “Yes My Lord. I know the defendant; his name is Faisal Maina. He is the son of Abdurasheed Maina who is the younger brother to my late husband, Bashir Abdullahi Maina”.
The witness further admitted that she was the one that opened accounts for Maina’s two farms. “I know the business name, Alhaji Faisal Abdullahi Farms. I approached Abdulrasheed Maina sometimes in 2011 to solicit for deposit.
“Abdulrasheed Maina then gave the bank a deposit of N3billion from the Police Pension Funds. In 2012, the N3billion was moved to the Single Treasury Account.
“Subsequently, I approached him for more deposit and I was able to open 12 accounts for him and members of his family, among which was Faisal Abdullahi Farms 2.”
The witness said she gave Maina an account opening package, which he duly filled and returned to the bank along with the sole proprietorship document.
“We then opened the account and Abdulrasheed Maina is the sole signatory to Alhaji Faisal Farms 1.”
Justice Abang adjourned until November 21 and 22 for the continuation of trial.
He will hear the defendant’s bail application today.