Alleged money laundering: Witness insists Maina recovered N1.63 trn in assets


The first defendant’s witness in the ongoing trial of former Chairman of defunct Pension Reforms Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, has maintained his stance that the PRTT made huge recoveries to the tune of N1.63 trillion in assets.

Ngozika Ihuoma, a consultant who took part in the biometric capture for pensioners in 2010, said with Maina as Chairman, the team also recovered N282 billion from suspected pension thieves within the first 18 months.

The witness who said he stands by his earlier testimonies that the sum was warehoused at the Central Bank of Nigeria, could not however tender any documents to back his claims.

During cross-examination by the prosecutor, Mohammed Abubakar, the witness also admitted that he has not tendered documents to prove that N74 billion of the recovered funds was used for the 2012 national budget.

Earlier, Justice Okon Abang had ruled against the admissibility of a document which the defendant’s counsel, Abiola Olawole, sought to tender.

The said document shows allowances of members of staff of the Tax team as well as those of National Assembly members on oversight.

The prosecutor said the document, though a public one, was not a certified true copy, making it inadmissible in evidence, thus prompting the ruling by the Judge.

Another thing that worked against the admissibility of the document was an earlier statement of the witness that the original copy was with the first defendant.

Meanwhile, the trial Judge, Justice Abang has further adjourned the matter till the 9th, 10th and 11th of March for continuation of the cross-examination of the first defendant witness.

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