By Alex Enumah
Rouqqaya Ibrahim, a witness of the Economics and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in the trial of former Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team, Mr Abdulrasheed Maina, on told a Federal High Court in Abuja how Maina concealed over N3 billion he (Maina), illicitly gotten.
Ibrahim made the revelation while continuing in her evidence as the ninth witness of the anti-graft agency.
Led in evidence by EFCC’s lawyer, Farouk Abdullah, prosecution counsel, the witness told the court how they carried out a “concealed income analysis to determine if the defendant and his associated companies had concealed incomes that were not accounted for.”
According to Ibrahim, who is an Investigative Officer with the EFCC, the said funds were discovered after a careful analysis of the Assets Declaration form Maina completed, showing his assets and liabilities.
“Being a civil servant, we also relied on his payslips to determine the genuine source of his income,” she said.
The witness claimed that as part of their investigations, they wrote the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to be able to establish if at all the companies linked to Maina were involved in any business.
She said that their findings showed that the companies apart from not involved in any business never had a record of tax payment at the FIRS.
“Regarding his known income, we discovered that his last payment which was paid in February 2013 was N256,000,” Ibrahim said.
“Getting N256,000 per month for 35 years as a civil servant without spending a single kobo, he would have received over 105 million.
“We compared that with our concealed income and net worth analysis and discovered that he has about N3 billion of unknown income from illegitimate source.”
She also told the court that funds were being sent to the defendant even while he had absconded to Dubai.
Earlier, the court rejected another request by Maina for an adjournment to enable him prepare for his defence.
Trial judge, Justice Okon Abang, who declined to grant the request in a ruling, said such plea was a ploy to waste the judicial time of the court.
Maina had, through his counsel, Abel Adaji, on Dec. 4, prayed the court for a short adjournment to allow him get a brief from his client to enable him do the needful, and Justice Abang adjourned the trial continuation for today.
When the matter was called, Abdullah informed the court that the matter was slated for continuation of the evidence of the ninth prosecution witness (PW9), Rouqquaya Ibrahim.
However, Anayo Adibe, who represented Maina as counsel at the sitting, objected to the call for trial continuation on the grounds that the legal team was just taking over the case and needed adequate time to prepare.
He said though they applied for the court record, in a letter to the court registry, they were yet to get it.
However, the judge, who corrected him that the last counsel did not apply for the court record, said he only applied for a short date in order to be briefed by Maina.
Justice Abang, who noted that Maina had been offered adequate opportunity and time for his defence, accordingly refused to grant the application.
He then ordered the witness to continue with her evidence-in-chief and ruled that if Maina’s counsel, Adibe, failed to cross examine the PW9 after she completed her testimony, the cross examination would be foreclosed.
The trial continues Wednesday, December 9.