Dambazau Tells Maina: Surrender To EFCC

The Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau, has asked the wanted former chairman of Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, to report to the EFCC.

Dambazau’s directive is contained in an official correspondence sent to the EFCC by the ministry.

It was learnt that the letter was in response to a letter written to the ministry asking that it makes Maina available for questioning.

Sources within the EFCC told Punch that the usual procedure for inviting senior government officials is to write to the head of the ministry or agency where the person works.

A source at the EFCC said, “The Ministry of Interior sent a letter to the EFCC on Tuesday informing the commission that it had mandated Maina to make himself available for questioning at the EFCC headquarters in Abuja.

“So far, Maina has not made himself available and we are still looking for him.”

The suspect has also not reported to work since the close of work last Friday.

Also speaking with one of our correspondents on the telephone, the spokesman for the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, said that operatives were still on Maina’s trail.

He said, “We are still on his trail and he has not yet been arrested.”

An EFCC source revealed that the commission had limited its search to the Kaduna/Kano area.

Dambazau spoke even as Maina’s lawyer, Esther Uzoma, said on the telephone on Tuesday that she did not know his whereabouts.

When asked if she would cooperate with the authorities to locate him, Uzoma refused to speak further.

Uzoma, who is a human rights activist, said, “I don’t know where he (Maina) is and I cannot speak further.”

Senate, House begin probe 
The Senate and House of Representatives have ordered separate investigations into the circumstances surrounding the reinstatement and subsequent promotion of Maina.

Pursuant to this, the Senate yesterday set up an ad hoc committee to investigate Maina’s reinstatement as a civil servant and subsequent promotion.

The Senate’s decision followed the adoption of a motion moved by Senator Isa Misau.

In his motion, Misau noted that it was disheartening that an individual, who had been on the wanted list of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for fraud-related offences, could be re-absorbed into the public service.

Misau said, “When the person left, he left as assistant director; but when he was coming back, he was given the position of a director, not even a deputy director. And this person who is on the wanted list, when he came back, people saw policemen attached to him.

“I don’t understand why a government that is always talking about fighting corruption and the same people who are close to the President are covering people who are highly corrupt in the society.”

The lawmaker recalled that the 7th Senate investigated Maina and he was declared wanted.

“I think in a government where we are preaching that the right thing be done, it is a big embarrassment for this government. We need the Senate to investigate this matter and find out how this person came back, how security men were attached to him and did not arrest him.

“I think it is unfortunate. For me, it is only the President who is talking about anti-corruption; people surrounding Mr. President are the ones giving cover and shelter to corrupt individuals.”

Senators took turns to condemn the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN).

The Senate Chief Whip, Olusola Adeyeye, said, “Those charges (against Maina) remain unanswered but tragically, not only did he return, he returned to an elevated position. It is an insult to all the civil servants who were doing their jobs diligently during those years Maina ran away.”

Adeyeye, who is a member of the ruling APC, described the development as “a sad moment.”

He said, “We cannot be saying we want to fight corruption and then we allow this kind of ‘the more you look, the less you see.

“What is sure is that certain people in the Executive are determined to make this President fail. Every member of my party and every patriot who is here must ensure this President does not fail. Whoever is responsible for this terrible decision must account for it.”

Adeyeye recalled the Maina issue was extensively debated in the 7th Senate, saying, “It got to an extent that the then Senate President, Senator David Mark, actually gave the then President, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, the option to choose between loyalty to Maina and respect for the Constitution and the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“It got too bad because at that time we were alarmed that a (Grade) Level 14 officer had more than 25 policemen guarding him day and night. It got so bad that every time the then President travelled, a Level 14 officer was always in the front roll even though he had nothing to do with any area that had to do with protocol.”

What is it about this man Maina, that PDP government protected him and APC is now doing same?