Mainuna’s absence stalls hearing in ICPC’s N57m diversion suit

Justice Mairu Nasiru of an Abuja High Court has adjourned till December 14, 2017 hearing in a three-count charge bothering on illegal diversion of $360,000 (N57 million) against a former Executive Director (Retail), Aso Savings and Loans Plc, Abuja, Maimuna Aliyu, due to her absence in court. The ICPC had explained how the defendant diverted sum, being proceeds of sales the property belonging to the bank, but her arraignment billed for Tuesday had to be differed due to her absence. Maimuna is the mother of Maryam Sanda, who allegedly murdered her husband and son of a former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party. When the matter was called, Prosecuting Counsel, Mr. ‎Osuobeni Akponimisingha, told the court that though the matter was for arraignment of the defendant, the prosecution had some difficulties serving court processes on her. He said she was eventually served through the IPO, who claimed to have told her of her arraignment date, adding: “Since we did not procure hearing notice from the court to serve, we take responsibility for her absence in court.” However, he prayed the court for a short adjournment to enable them serve her with the hearing notice. Also, defence counsel, J.K Gadzama (SAN), informed the court that his client was not aware of the arraignment and hence her absence, adding that he was not present when the IPO served the defendant with the process. He further undertook to bring the defendant to court at the next adjourned date. The Federal Government, through the ICPC, had slammed on the defendant a three-count charge bothering on diversion of about N57 million belonging to Aso Savings and Loans for her personal use. It alleged that being the Executive Director (Retail) of Aso Savings and Loans Plc, Abuja, at the time, Maimuna, on December 7, 2012 or thereabout, used her said position to confer corrupt advantage upon herself when she received $‎360,000, (equivalent of N57 million at the time). It claimed that the amount was for the sale of Plots 2432 and 2434 – all in Cadastral Zone BO8, Jahi District, Abuja, belonging to Aso Saving and Loans Plc, from one Banagana Bashir, on behalf of Vincent Msheila, and failed to remit the said amount to Aso Savings and Loans Plc as required. The offence allegedly committed is contrary to and punishable under Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000. She was also accused of making false statements to the ICPC operatives in the course of their official duties, that Plots 2432, 2433 and 2437 – all in Cadastral Zone, BO8, Jahi District, Abuja, belonging to Aso Savings and Loans Plc, were sold to Bangana Bashir acting as agent to Vincent Msheila ‎of Subwang Global Integrated Limited. She also claimed to have handed over N57 million, being the amount for the sale of the said plots at the time, to one Bilikisu Rimi (Company Secretary, Aso Savings and Loans Plc, Abuja), knowing the statement to be false, thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 25(1)(a) and (b) of the ICPC Act, 2000. Maimuna was also accused of criminal breach of trust by disposing of Plots 2432 and 2434 – all in Cadastral Zone BO8, Jahi District on December 7, 2012 or thereabout in Abuja, being the Executive Director (Retail) of company‎ at the time and entrusted with the original copies of the offer letters for the purposes of selling same on behalf of the company. She is accused of having dishonestly misappropriated the N57 million, being proceeds of the transaction at that time of selling the plots of land to Banagana Bashir as agent for Vincent Msheila of Subwang Global Integrated Limited, as she did not remit the said amount to the bank as required. “You thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 311 and punishable under Section 312 of the Penal Code Act Cap 532, Laws of the Northern Nigeria 1990.

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