*Independent judicial panel of inquiry is solution
13th November 2017
President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR,
Aso Rock Villa,
Three Arms zone,
PERSPECTIVES OF A REPORTER ON THE MAINAGATE
I, as a journalist and victim of the pension mafia, have decided to write you an open letter to help you see what I know. I see this as a civic duty, so that you, as the leader of the people of Nigeria will be in a best position to take the most appropriate decision on this knotty matter concerning citizen Abdulrasheed Maina.
My choice to write His Excellency is informed by the fact that too many untruth has been sold on the media space as the truth. I was a reporter who covered the pension sector and for my reportage got bruised and badly too. Ever since that day, I swore to follow the cabal. I was to be crushed after duty while opening my car in front of the federal secretariat. A petty trader nearby alerted me and I ended up watch my seven day old Camry car I bought with funds raised in four years crushed! Yes, crushed before my own eyes but with my life intact.
First salvo to understand the thieving world: Mr President, can you ask the EFCC for an audit of the entire assets (properties and cars) handed over to them?
Mr President, the PRTT official record claimed to have saved N282billion cash in a CBN account out of which the Senate approved N74billion to prosecute the 2012 budget. Where is the balance of that money? The Finance Minister and Accountant General of the Federation were the signatories to the account in question.
The Alloysius Etuk report written by pension suspects: The Alloysius Etuk Senate report (2013) report was allegedly written by the staffers of one of the pension suspects. Five of the suspects each contributed N500million and gave the chairman of the Senate committee to help them stave off prosecution. When prosecution continued, the aggrieved parties got angry and wrote a petition to ICPC and EFCC. Where are the outcomes of the petitions from the anti graft agencies?
Assuming Abdulrasheed Maina is a thief. He was forced on exile after a failed assassination attempt. Between when he was forced out and when the PTAD took over, N35billion got missing in the pension office of the Head of Service. A report was lodged with the ICPC. 15 staffers were arrested and eventually released, promoted and some are safely retired with their loot now. Where is the outcome of the ICPC report?
How monies are stolen from Appropriation: May it interest His Excellency that before the coming of Maina’s PRTT the Senate appropriates N5.2billion monthly for Head of Service Pension Office. After biometrics, the PRTT brought the bill down to N825million. Over N4billion was saved monthly.
Similarly, in the Police Pension Office, they needed N482million monthly to pay pension, but Senate appropriated N1.5billion. Usually, pensioners don’t get paid while the excess is also looted.
Maina ‘the thief’: We have heard of various figures bandied on Maina’s head like N195billion (Senate), later it became N100billion (media) and lately, N2billion (EFCC) etc The Senate named five institutions where the monies were allegedly stolen. They also said the monies were stolen between 2005 and 2010.
- None of Maina’s team members worked in the five pension offices named;
- Maina’s team was inaugurated by June 2010. They started operations in January 2011. How could they have stolen in the said institutions between 2005 and 2010?
- Kabir Gaya, is a former Kano Governor and member of the Senate Committee that arrived at N195billion against Maina. On his own, in assessing one year of Buhari government told The Sun newspaper on 3rd April 2016 that that N195billion is in the Treasury Single Account (TSA).
The figure then changed in the media to N100billion. Where, when and how it was stolen remains a mirage; The latest is the EFCC’s which is N2billion on biometric.
- Mr President, your predecessor, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, approved 3.4% of funds recovered to be given the PRTT so as to ginger them to recover more. This was after the presentation to the National Economic Management team on 23rd October 2012. Aliko Dangote, Peter Obi, Adamawa Governor Murtala Nyako, Femi Otedola, Dr Akinwunmi presided by the President were present in the meeting. Three times Mr President demanded the monies paid but the Finance Minister won’t pay. Why? Rather, the service plotted the PTAD as option;
- PTAD was a bigger stealing port. Who owns the premises PTAD is using now in Maitama? How much was paid as rent ahead! The figure paid will shock you.
- PTAD Director General who took over from Maina earns N43million per annum 200% more than the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Does it make any sense? Maina was earning N210,000.00
If President Goodluck Jonathan’s directives were carried out. Two options exist:
- 5% of N282billion retrieved would have been paid to the PRTT!
- Or assuming, 5% of the N74billion used by National Assembly at approval is what was paid out, the PRTT would have earned N3.7billion!
- The bureaucracy was busy snoring when the PRTT were making the retrievals was alleged to have asked for 50%. Even at that, the PRTT would have gone home with N7billion which is what the President approved. This is where the entire interests came in. thus, the recalcitrant head of the PRTT had to be removed from the system to allow for the loot to go round; What could not be taken in PRTT was taken from PTAD.
When Maina returned home waiting for justice to be dispensed having gotten two court judgments in his favour, he started work again helping in the recovering of funds for this administration.
Did the EFCC Chairman not meet Maina in the Attorney General’s and the DSS office severally? May be, Magu had forgotten Maina’s face. However, my sources claimed that Magu had lured Maina to work with the EFCC to increase the volume of recoveries. Maina’s rejection of the offer was a sin he had to pay for now.
The Pension mafia are the richest, most influential and dangerous in Nigeria today. They are not after Maina for free. They launched a ferocious one against the AGF. If the AGF had been downed who says the President is safe? A careful perusal will show that the felons wanted to use monies stolen from the nation to ‘rule’ and safeguard themselves while the nation and its leaders keep wallowing in pains.
The Pension mafia used to get free money in billions without a sweat. Who is an ordinary audacious Maina and his ‘team of bandits’ to have crushed and destroyed their honey well? Maina was sent on exile. Thinking that the battle is over, he was ‘sneaked’ into the country since April 2016 (so the media said). Yet, he has added value to the government.
His ‘public’ return increased the palpitations of those who had sinned and are afraid of the wraith coming after them. They quickly gathered money and funded a massive media war on radio, television, internet and print. They manufactured all manners of fibs and story lines. Truth, like the smoke of ‘igbo irunmole’ (In Yoruba, forest of the thousand gods), started oozing out of the thickness of time while it rained so heavily.
PRTT operations: If the way and manner the operations of that team was structured, there is no way any of the team members could have stolen a single Kobo. Many of the staffers who had cars even do ‘kabu-kabu’ to subvent what their mother organisations pay them. The few who tried to cut corners who were caught were sent packing.
If Maina or and anyone got N2bilion (using the latest EFCC figure), then, the EFCC itself, ICPC, prison, Customs, Ministry of Justice, Auditor General, Accountant General, NIA, DSS etc should all bring either their share or their own N2billion (or whatever they got) out.
Conclusion: Maina’s PRTT used N2billion from the Head of Service’s approval for biometrics which generated N1.63trillion. This is an organisation that has no budget, the chairman never signed one Kobo for anything. All due processes are signed off by the Head of Service who has the expenditure right.
We have an augean stable in our hands. Are we ready to clear same? Or do we want to gloss over it?
Rather, Your Excellency, an independent judicial panel of inquiry like the Justice Chukwudifu Oputa Truth Commission would have been the best and let all those who are guilty be publicly exposed and let the nation hear the whole truth and nothing but the truth.