There was a mild drama at the premises of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Monday, after Abdulrasheed Maina, former Chairman, Pension Reformed Task Team (PRTT), was convicted and sentenced to eight years imprisonment.
Justice Okon Abang, the presiding judge in the money laundering suit filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against Mr Maina, had earlier handed down a cumulative eight-year imprisonment to the ex-pension boss.
Mr Abang ordered that the terms of imprisonment for all the 12 counts shall run concurrently from October 25, 2019, being the date Mr Maina was arraigned before the court.
The judge, who ruled that Mr Maina must refund money running over a billion naira to the federal government coffers, among others, also ordered that the companies used to launder money be winded up.
However, when the officers of the Kuje Correctional Centre were taking Mr Maina out of the court premises amidst tight security, officers of the EFCC drove into the premises with two vehicles, blocking the prison Hilux van that was about to convey the ex-pension boss to the correctional centre.
The development led to heated arguments between the two opposing personnel as they corked their rifles in show of force.
However, the prison officers stood their ground, refusing to allow the EFCC operatives, some of who came in police uniform, to whisk Mr Maina away.
A prison officer, who spoke anonymously shortly after the pandemonium, said the EFCC operatives had come in the name of rearresting Mr Maina for another charge.
“They said they have a warrant to rearrest him after he was just convicted.
“Our own stand is that the court just convicted him and if they need to rearrest him, they should come through the court.
“The court will give the directive for us to obey,” the officer said.