Mohammed Abubakar, counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has told a federal high court in Abuja that Faisal, son of Abdulrasheed Maina, has fled to the United States.
Faisal, who is standing trial on charges of money laundering, had jumped bail refusing to attend trial since November 24, 2020.
At the court session on Thursday, Abubakar told the court that he has information that the defendant has fled to the US.
“We have a bench warrant of the court for the arrest of the defendant and his apprehension before the court,” he said.
”We have been making serious efforts to execute the bench warrant but it has met challenges. The defendant has absconded to the USA.”
Abubakar said the previous information by the prosecution that the defendant was arrested in Sokoto “was a rumour”.
“Despite the fact that the Nigerian and American passports of the defendant are in the custody of this court as part of his bail conditions, the information we have 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 USA,” he said
However, Anayo Adibe, Faisal’s counsel, insisted that his client was apprehended and taken into custody by the police in Sokoto.
“The following day, media reports as well as a press release by the police command in Sokoto, confirmed this fact,” he said.
”Since then, they has been scanty with information even when we demanded to see him. It is speculative to state the defendant is in the US.
”The defendant personally called me the day he was taken into custody in Sokoto. Since then, every effort made to reach the defendant been abortive. His phones are switched off.
”We are afraid for his life. We urge the court to cause an inquiry into the whereabouts of the defendant.”
Maina, Faisal’s father and former chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT), is under trial for alleged fraud. He had jumped bail and escaped to Niger Republic with his son.
He was later arrested and extradited to Nigeria.