Why Pension Reform Team rejected N2bn bribe: EFCC

Web Editor | ConsumerConnect

Khalid Aliyu, the EFCC prosecution witness (PW5) in the ongoing trial of Abdulrasheed Maina, ex-Chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT) has disclosed that the PRTT rejected a N2billion bribe from the accused persons in the police pension fraud.

Aliyu, who is also Maina’s younger brother, made the disclosure during cross-examination before Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Friday, January 24, in Abuja, FCT.

Agency report states that the EFCC on October 25, 2019, had charged Maina and his son, Faisal, before the court alongside his firm, Common Input Property and Investment Limited.

While Maina was facing a 12-count charge bordering on money laundering, Faisal was charged on a three-count charge of arms possession and violent act.

However, both the father and the son pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

At the resumed trial Friday, counsel to Maina (1st defendant), Afam Osigwe, asked Aliyu to repeat what he told the court the previous day.

Giving his evidence-in-chief before the court, Aliyu narrated how Maina and his team rejected the N2billion, in Dollar currency, from a driver of certain Yusuf Teidi and others who were under probe by the PRTT.

“I remember at the last adjourned date I said that a driver drove in with an SUV at about mid night in a carpark of Head of Service office.

“I was standing with the 1st defendant (Maina) and Mr. Steven Oronsaye (former Head of Service of the Federation).

He said the driver declared that the money was a gift from the accused persons in a police pension case that the task team was investigating at the time.

“I believe the money was about N2 billion in dollars equivalent.

“The previous day, I was curious about the incident so I asked the 1st defendant (Maina) of what happened after their meeting because he (Maina) informed me that he requested a meeting with the accused persons the next day after he sent the driver back.

“The 1st defendant said the task team proposed to the accused to return about 40 per cent of the misappropriated fund so that they may be given a plea bargain,” he narrated.

When Osigwe asked Aliyu of how an instrument was presented to the bank to withdraw the huge cash, the PW5 said: “If an instrument is presented to the bank for withdrawal, it is the name of the person doing the withdrawal that will appear in the system.”

When the lawyer asked how a bank customer can stop any bank alert or information from the bank, he said: “When a customer wishes to stop any bank alert or information from the bank, he will write formal application requesting the bank to stop or rather change the phone number.

Justice Abang, who later adjourned the matter till January 27, said the adjourned date would be for ruling on the bail variation plea and trial continuation.

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