Maina Arrested in Niger Republic, to be Extradited to Nigeria

Abdulrasheed Maina, involved in a protracted corruption case charged by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC after being alleged to have stolen about ₦100 billion, has on 30th November 2020 been arrested by a combination of operatives of the Nigerian Police Force and Interpol in the capital of the Nigérien Republic, Niamey. A court in Abuja had ordered that Senator Ndume who stood surety for Maina be remanded in custody for failing to provide the accused in court since he was granted bail.

Maina is standing trial for an alleged fraud involving pension funds. He was appointed by (former) President Goodluck Jonathan to head the Pension Reform Task Team in 2010, only for him to be dismissed in 2013 for absconding from work. In 2015, the EFCC led by Ibrahim Magu, indicted him for financial misappropriation to the tune of about ₦100 billion, and sought for his arrest to face charges.

However, Maina remained elusive, avoiding arrest, until 2019, precisely 1st October when he was apprehended by the Department of State Security Service.

Abdulrasheed Maina

He was in custody until July 2020 when he was released under a conditional bail in which Senator Ndume stood surety. But he failed to appear in court since then, and all efforts by Ali Ndume to bring him to face his trials, proved abortive. The court had no alternative but to ask that Ndume be remanded in custody until Maina is caught and brought to court.

The Nigerian Police made the following statement tonight, the 1st December, 2020:

Following the arrest of former chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT), Abdulrashid Abdullahi Maina in Niamey, Niger Republic, the NPF is perfecting extradition processes of the fugitive to Nigeria to enable him face trial in pending criminal proceedings against him.

Abdulrashid Maina, who was declared wanted by a court of competent jurisdiction, was arrested last night, 30th November, 2020 through the collaborative efforts of the operatives of the Nigeria Police Force, INTERPOL NCB, Abuja and their Nigerien counterpart.

He is currently in a detention facility in Niger Republic awaiting the completion of the extradition processes.

The Force assures the citizens, that there shall be no hiding place for any suspect, no matter how highly placed.”

Going by the behaviour of Maina, it is unlikely that the judge in charge of his trial, Justice Okon Abang, will be ready to listen to further pleas for bail from the defendant’s legal team.

Source: Force Headquarters

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