Fatima Abdullahi, a younger sister of Abdulrasheed Maina, former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Team, created a little scene on Wednesday in Abuja Federal High Court as she was giving evidence as a prosecution witness in the ongoing trial of Maina.
Fatima, a civil servant, and resident of Kaduna told the court that she and Maina share the same parents. She gave evidence behind a screen where her face was only seen by the judge, Justice Okon Abang, while her voice could be heard through the public address system of the court.
However, while her evidence in chief was going on, Adeola Adedipe, counsel for Common Inputs & Investment Nigeria Ltd (2nd defendant), raised observation that he suspected that the witness was reading from a prepared document.
When asked by the court registrar, the witness said, “Well, I am not reading from any paper. They are free to come and check as I only have my bag with me. The reason why I am slowing down is that the judge is taking down his notes.”
The judge ruled that the court did not see the witness reading from any document.
In her evidence in chief, the witness said she had never heard of a company called Common Input & Investment Nigeria Ltd. She gave the narrative of how she found out about the company thus:
“Sometimes in August 2019, I went to the ATM of Diamond Access Bank to withdraw some money. Unfortunately, I could not. So, I went inside the bank to see the manager to complain. The manager told me to hold on, that he would find out the reason.
“After waiting for an hour, the manager told me that I was under arrest and he took me to an office and asked me to wait for the EFCC official to come and take me to their office in Kaduna.
“That was when the manager told me that my accounts were blocked. So when the EFCC official came, they took me to their office for questioning. When we got there, the officials were asking me if I know any company by the name Common Input, to which I told them I do not. In fact, that was the first time I was hearing about the name.
“They told me that there was a transaction in Common Input and I told them I am not aware of the transaction. So, they made me write a statement.
“Afterwards, I was given an administrative bail on the same day and that I should proceed to the EFCC office in Abuja the next day.
“The next day, I went to the Abuja office together with my lawyer. The officials also asked me if I know any company by the name Common Input, to which I say I do not. So, they presented a CAC incorporation form of the company where the name Fatima Samaila Abdullahi was stated together with my date of birth but the phone number on the form is not my own. Even the name as stated on the form is not my name as my full name is Fatima Abdullahi.”
The witness continues her evidence, stating that even her signature was not the one on the form, as well as the one on another CAC form for Kangolo Digital and Drew Investment.
“The name is my name, but the signature is not mine,” she said.
“So, I was asked to write a statement, which I did.
“Also, I was shown an account opening package of Common Input and Drew Investment with UBA. I was shown a BVN, which is my BVN and I told them I don’t know anything about those accounts. I was never given any form to sign in respect to those accounts. And I have never made any deposit or withdrawal from Drew Investment, Common Input, and Kangolo.
“I have never opened an account with UBA. The other accounts I have are in GTBank, Access, Fidelity and First Bank. All my genuine accounts were blocked together with those fictitious accounts. Even my salary account was blocked and I can not access it,” she said.
The witness also denied knowledge of shares bought in her name in the companies, adding that the photograph attached to the documents was a younger version of her before she got married.
Meanwhile, the matter has been adjourned to December 16 for cross-examination and hearing of the bail variation application filed by Maina.