Published February 5, 2021
Friday Olokor , Abuja
The son of the embattled former Chairman of the Pension Reformed Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina , Faisal has escaped to the United States after sneaking into the Republic of Niger through one of the Nigeria ’s porous borders , the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission said on Thursday .
Its lawyer , Mohammed Abubakar , confirmed the development at the resumed hearing of the laundering case against him before Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court , Abuja .
Faisal , who is also being tried before Justice Abang with his father, went underground, the same way Maina , did after they were granted bail .
While Maina was re – arrested in Niger Republic and has since been ordered to be remanded in Kuje Correctional Centre, Abuja , his son had remained elusive .
Abubakar told the court that from the information at the disposal of the EFCC , Faisal sneaked to the US through the Republic of Niger .
He faulted claims by defence lawyer , Anayo Adibe that Faisal was being held by either the police in Sokoto State .
The EFCC counsel said, “ We have a bench warrant for the arrest of the defendant and his production before the court.
“ The defendant has absconded to the United States of American . The claim that he was arrested in Sokoto by the police is in the realm of a rumour.
“ It is on record that the Nigerian and American passport of the defendant are in the custody of this court as part of the condition of his bail .
“ However, information at our disposal indicates that the defendant was able to sneak out of Nigeria to the Republic of Niger , from where he was able to proceed to the US .”
But Adibe countered Abubakar, saying that his client was in the country and in the custody of the police in Sokoto State .
Adibe said , “ Let me say that the travelling documents of the defendant are with the court . It is speculative for the prosecutor to state that the defendant was in the US .
“ The defendant personally called me the day he was taken into custody , but now every effort made to reach the defendant proved abortive . ”
He prayed the court to grant his application , seeking the court ’s permission to enable the defendant open his defence to enable him exercise his right to fair hearing .
Abubakar objected to Adibe ’s prayer and urged the court to dismiss the application in view of the defendant’s continued absence in court.
Delivering his ruling , Justice Abang said he did not know who to believe on the defendant’s whereabouts .
He then adjourned till March 31 , 2021 for ruling of the defendant’s application .
Earlier , Justice Abang ordered among others , that a House of Representatives member , Sani Dan- Galadima ( Kaura -Namoda Federal Constituency of Zamfara State ) , who stood surety for the fleeing Faisal , should forfeit his property , worth N 60 m , which he pledged as guarantee for the N 60 m bail bond he signed