Operatives of the Nigerian anti-graft agency in conjunction with intelligence operatives in Niger Republic have arrested the fleeing former Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina in Niger Republic.
A top security source informed FIRSTNEWS ONLINE correspondent that Maina’s arrest was made possible due to the collaborative relationship between the security operatives of both Nigeria and Niger Republic.
The fugitive was said to have been picked up by the joint security agencies of both countries at a remote town in Niger Republic.
Maina, along with his son, is currently facing a 12-count money laundering charge levelled against him and a firm by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
EFCC alleged that Maina, as Chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Team, used the account of the firm for laundering money to the tune of N2 billion, part of which he used to acquire landed properties in Abuja.
The fugitive has, however, stopped attending trial since the September 29, 2020 proceedings, a development that prompted Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court to order Senator Ali Ndume’s remand in prison last Monday.
But the Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday granted bail to the Borno South Senator over his suretyship for Maina, who is believed to have jumped bail.
Justice Abang, in a ruling, said he chose to grant Maina bail based on his record of good behaviour before the court, inspite of the fact that the other grounds of his bail application failed.
The judge granted bail to the senator pending the hearing and determination of Ndume’s appeal filed at the Court of Appeal to challenge Monday’s order sending him to jail over his failure to produce the fleeing Maina in court.
Efforts by our correspondent to reach EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, for comments were unsuccessful as he didn’t pick calls to his phone.
Similarly, Commissioner of Police, Interpol National Bureau, Garba Umar, could not be reached on the phone.
EFCC had last week launched a manhunt for Maina and P&ID officials.
The commission had also vowed to enforce the arrest warrant issued against the fleeing ex-pension reform boss, seeking the assistance of the International Police Organisation in arresting the fugitive adjudged by the court to have jumped bail.
Justice Okon Abang had last week revoked the bail granted to Maina, who is being prosecuted by the EFCC for N2 billion fraud.