20171023

Arrest Ex-Pension Boss Maina Now – Sagay, Falana charges Buhari

The Chairman, presidential advisory committee against corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), and human rights lawyer, Femi Falana have called on President Buhari-led administration to immediately arrest the wanted ex-chairman of the defunct Presidential Task Force on Pension, Abdulrasheed Maina, who has returned to Nigeria and now in a big office.

Maina, who fled the country in 2015 after being indicted for allegedly perpetrating fraud to the tune of N2bn, returned to the country and was posted to the Ministry of Interior based on the recommendation of the Head of Service and was given double promotion.

But on Sunday evening the EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren insisted that Maina was still wanted.

Asked if Maina would be arrested by the commission, the EFCC spokesman refused to speak further.

The EFCC on its website retained a picture of Maina, asking members of the public to fish him out.

Speaking with Punch on the saga, Sagay said Maina’s case should not be treated with kid gloves based on the gravity of the offence he allegedly committed.

The PACAC chairman described pension scam as one of the worst forms of fraud known to mankind and anyone accused of such should not be handled with kid gloves.

Sagay said, “This man was accused of embezzling billions of naira meant for pensioners who had spent all their lives serving this country. One man took the money they should rely on in their declining years, subjecting them to misery and hopelessness.

“This is a moral and criminal issue. So, to hear that the man is in the country and somebody employed him means he is not the only criminal in the system. It means there is an accessory.

“Whoever was involved in employing him and then giving him promotion is an accessory after the fact to the crimes committed by this man if it is established that he is culpable. I don’t see why he escaped if he was not guilty.”

He said, “The EFCC should not just say they are aware; they should take action. The EFCC should now arrest him, interrogate him and if they can establish a case, prosecute him. They should also investigate all those involved in the reabsorbing and promotion of this man.

“If it established that they brought him back into the civil service despite knowledge of the man’s alleged crimes, they are also accessories after the fact and should also be arrested and prosecuted.”

Similarly, Falana urged the EFCC to immediately charge Maina with the alleged N100bn pension fraud for which he was declared wanted for years.

Falana, in an SMS to Punch, also urged President Buhari to sanction those involved in Maina’s recall and promotion in their bid to sabotage the administration’s anti-corruption war.

He said, “Mr. Maina was declared wanted by the EFCC because of his indictment in a pension scam. Now that he has been located, the EFCC has a duty to charge him without any further delay.

“The Head of Service and interior minister who shielded him from prosecution ought to be charged with aiding and abetting the felon.

“Those who recalled and promoted the fugitive ought to be sanctioned by President Buhari to serve as a deterrent to others who may wish to sabotage the war against corruption.”

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