By Ikechukwu Nnochiri— ABUJA
Faisal, son of the former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Force Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, who was declared wanted by the Federal High Court in Abuja, has been arrested.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, confirmed to the court on Thursday that the 21-year-old Faisal, who jumped bail since June 24, was apprehended by security operatives on Wednesday night.
This is just as the Federal High Court, Abuja, deferred further proceedings in the trial of Faisal’s father, Maina, till December 21 after he slumped in court.
Maina, who is answering to a 12-count money laundering charge EFCC preferred against him and his firm, Common Input Property and Investment Limited, had collapsed in court shortly after his case was called up on Thursday.
He slumped beside the dock while his lawyer, Mr. Anayo Adibe was trying to persuade the court to adjourn the trial to a later date.
Adibe said he was unable to prepare the no-case-submission owing to the fact that he was not availed with records of proceedings of the court in the matter.
Adibe was still on his feet when his client, Maina, fell down from his seat, a development that forced the court to temporarily suspend sitting.
EFCC had alleged that Maina’s son, sometime between 2013 and 2019, received the sum of N58.11 million, being proceeds of a corrupt act by his father.
He was also accused of failing to properly declare his assets before the EFCC.
Before he was released on bail, the defendant was initially remanded in police custody after the prosecution notified the court that he was being investigated on allegation bordering on his alleged possession of an illegal firearm.
Faisal had reportedly pulled a gun to challenge operatives of the Department of State Services, DSS, that arrested his father at a hotel in Abuja on September 30.
Trial judge, Justice Okon Abang, had in a ruling on November 24, revoked his bail, even as he issued a bench warrant for security agencies to arrest him wherever he is found.
It will be recalled that his father, Maina, who is facing a separate 12-count money laundering charge, also jumped bail and was later arrested in the Niger Republic by the Interpol.
At the resumed proceeding in the matter on Thursday, counsel to the surety, Mr. M. E. Sheriff, urged the court to suspend the hearing of the forfeiture case against his client in view of the arrest of the defendant.
He said: “My lord, I was reliably informed that the Defendant had been arrested. He was arrested last night and he is in custody.”
Though he confirmed the development, EFCC’s lawyer, Mr. Farouk Abdullah, said the defendant had not been handed over to the agency.
“He is not in our custody yet, but we got information unofficially that he has been arrested,” the prosecution counsel added.
On his part, Mr. Anayo Adibe who announced an appearance for Faisal, also applied for suspension of the committal/forfeiture proceeding against the surety “to allow the court to ascertain the authenticity or otherwise of the defendant’s status.”
In a bench ruling, Justice Abang dismissed the adjournment request and ordered the surety to move the application he filed to show cause why he should not forfeit the bail bond to the government.