Maina Fugitive says he's being punished for exposing N5.3b fraud

Maina has maintained that his task team saved Nigeria about N282 billion.

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Maina challenges EFCC to open debate play

Abdulrasheed Maina

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Fugitive former Chairman of the Presidential Task Team on Pension Reforms (PTTPR), Abdulrasheed Maina, has hit back at the corruption allegations that has forced him into hiding, as he made fresh claims that he's being persecuted for exposing the real pension thieves.

Maina described the ongoing manhunt for him as a vindictive media trial resulting from his termination of a fraud scheme involving N5.32 billion allegedly being stolen monthly in the office of the Head of Service (HoS) and Police Pension office.

His aide, Olajide Fashikun, spoke in Kaduna on Tuesday, October 31, 2017, revealing that highly placed public holders who were involved in the fraud scheme are intent on stopping him from exposing them.

According to him, "Between the Head of Service and the Police Pension office, the two places PRTT worked, a leakage of N5.32 billion was stopped per month.

"This is what civil servants steal monthly in the two offices out of the 99 pension offices in the country. About 43 persons were arrested and handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to prosecute while 222 houses were seized from them.

"In the current media trial where all manner of stories have been published, there has been a lot of distortion of facts and sometimes outright blackmail, all in an attempt to paint the PRTT boss black.

"As soon as Maina was driven to exile before the coming of the PTAD, N35 billion was stolen in the Head of Service office. The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) did not come out with the report. How come nobody is talking about these monies?

"After the biometric exercise, there were 71,000 genuine workers in the police pension office who needed N826 million to pay them unlike N5.3 billion appropriated for them annually. They were pocketing N4.2billion yearly.

"They devised several ingenious ways to pull this cash out, they pull out an average of N300 million daily, Monday to Friday. There are bank alerts to substantiate these assertions.

"There is a particular person who has 69 cloned versions of his name on the payroll. Bank officials were in cohort. Names of dead pensioners were 'exhumed' from the dead and paid pension. Accounts were created with fictitious names. The agents who do the multiple collection of these monies from banks get 5 per cent of the volume collected.

"One of the folks caught then, by name Haruna Maigida, was paid via three accounts in June 2011 the sums of N7,783,891.68, N17,452,910.87 and N17,293,888.44. He confessed when the EFCC officials arrested him that he got 5 per cent for pulling the cash."

Despite refusing to hand himself over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Maina has maintained that his task team saved Nigeria about N282 billion from June 2010 when it was constituted.

Maina was recalled and promoted after he had been dismissed by the Federal Civil Service Commission in 2013 following a recommendation by the Office of the Head of Service.

In 2015, he was charged alongside former Head of Service, Steve Oronsaye, Osarenkhoe Afe and Fredrick Hamilton Global Services Limited before a Federal High Court on a 24-count charge bordering on procurement fraud and obtaining by false pretence through the award of fraudulent biometric contracts.

After he was declared wanted over an alleged N2 billion pension fraud, he evaded capture from the EFCC and fled abroad.

ALSO READ: Maina has people protecting him - Magu

On Monday, October 23, after his reinstatement drew public condemnation, President Muhammadu Buhari ordered Maina's 'disengagement' and ordered a full investigation into the circumstances of his recall.

On Tuesday, October 24, the Senate and House of Representatives also set up separate ad-hoc committees to investigate the issue.

Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau, and Head of Service, Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita, have been reported to be instrumental to the process of Maina's recall.

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