20171021

How True? Buhari Govt. Recalls Ex-Pension Boss Sacked & Wanted For Corruption

President Muhammadu Buhari's administration has secretly reinstated fugitive former Chairman of the Presidential Task Team on Pension Reforms, Abdulrasheed Maina, into the civil service.

Multiple sources confirmed to that Mr. Maina, who is wanted by the EFCC, was secretly recalled and promoted to the position of director in charge of Human Resources in the Ministry of Interior.

Before his appointment to chair the pension task force, he was an assistant director in the ministry.

According to SR, news of the reinstatement filtered through a congratulatory message for Maina by a group called League of Civil Society Organizations which commended FG for the reinstatement.

Maina was in 2013 dismissed by the Federal Civil Service Commission following a recommendation by the Office of the Head of Service.

A retired director in the Office of the Head of Service familiar with the matter said recalling Maina was an affront on the rule of law.

“He should not have been reinstated. Doesn’t Maina have a case in court? The rules provide for action to be taken only after the courts have dispensed of the case fully,” he said.

Recall that trouble started in 2012 when Maina was accused of leading a massive pension fraud scheme amounting to more than N100 billion. He was drafted by the Goodluck Jonathan administration in 2010 to sanitize a corrupt pension system.

Based on the allegation of corruption, Mr. Maina was invited by the Senate Joint Committee on Public Service and Establishment and State and Local Government Administration.

The Senate after completion of its investigation issued a Warrant of Arrest against Mr. Maina.

Ignoring the panel, Maina went ahead to sue the Senate and then Police IG, Mohammed Abubakar, and thereafter went into hiding after being declared wanted by the police.

Consequent upon this, Mr. Maina was dismissed by the Head of Service for allegedly absconding from duty and attempting to evade arrest and charged to court.

He was on July 21, 2015, charged by EFCC alongside Stephen Oronsaye and 2 others before a Federal High Court on a 24-count charge bordering on procurement fraud and obtaining by false pretense.

While Mr. Oronsaye and the two other accused were in court and pleaded not guilty to the charge, Mr. Maina was at large.

He is said to have spent these past years in the United Arab Emirates, from where he kept lobbying to win the pleasures of the Buhari administration.

Since absconding, nothing was heard of Maina until shortly after the emergence of President Buhari in 2015 when members of his defunct Presidential Task Team on Pension Reforms offered to work with the then incoming administration.

The team, which addressed a press conference in Abuja, said its work would be easier under Buhari, who is said to be known for his anti-corruption stand.

A member of the team, Ngozika Ihuoma, claimed that one of the achievements of President Jonathan was the creation of the pension task reform body in June 2010 under the leadership of Maina.

Two years after, it appears the prayer of the team has been answered by the Buhari administration.

Maina’s reinstatement was shrouded in secrecy and was handled “at the highest level” according to an informed source. It was not announced by the presidency or any federal government agency.

President Buhari’s Spokesperson, Femi Adesina, said he was unaware of Mr. Maina’s reinstatement.

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