Maina Extradited to Nigeria after Arrest in Niger Republic

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Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja

The embattled Chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, has been extradited to Nigeria to face his ongoing money laundering trial.

Maina was arrested in Niamey, the capital of Niger Republic after he jumped bail and was declared wanted by an Abuja High Court.

He was received yesterday by men of the Nigeria Police Force at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.

The aircraft carrying the former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Team landed at the airport at 2.15 p.m.

Speaking with journalists at the airport, the Commissioner of Police in charge of Interpol, said Maina was brought back to Nigeria on the directive of the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu.

Maina is standing trial for alleged money laundering to the tune of N2 billion.

The trial judge, Justice Abang Okon issued a warrant for his arrest after he ‘jumped bail’ and failed to appear in court.

He was said to have stopped attending his trial since September 29, 2020, prompting Justice Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja, to order the remand of his surety, Senator Ali Ndume, last week.

Senator Ali Ndume, who stood as surety for Maina was remanded in prison by a court before he was eventually granted bail on November 27.

Following Maina’s extradition, the Nigeria Police Force has released a statement explaining how he was arrested and returned to Nigeria.

Meanwhile, a Federal High Court in Abuja yesterday granted leave to Mr. Adeola Adedipe representing Common Inputs Limited owned by Maina, to withdraw from the money laundering case brought against the company by EFCC.

At the resumed trial in Abuja yesterday, Justice Okon Abang in a bench ruling, granted the lawyer’s application to withdraw from the case on the ground that he is yet to be paid for his services and is unable to locate Maina who engaged him to represent the company listed as the second defendant in the case.