*None of the 43 pension thieves will lose against the EFCC
By Olajide Fashikun
Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT), Abdulrasheed Maina, has volunteered to testify as a state witness against the 43 pension thieves he arrested while in office. The prosecuting agency, EFCC, cannot successfully complete prosecution without our (PRTT) input moreso that many of the exhibits seized from the suspects have been tampered with.
Maina said he would appear before the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) only if the anti-graft agency is ready to account for the recovered cash and asset worth N1.63trillion we handed over to them.
Maina, speaking through his lawyer, Barrister Sani Katu, said he is ready to turn himself in on the condition that the agency would resume the prosecution of the suspects he had apprehended.
He also said the Federal Government should know that he is not on the run, but fears for his life, as some elements within the EFCC feel threatened by evidences and documents in his possession that could send them to jail.
Katu in a telephone interview from his Kaduna base on Saturday evening told www.gongnews.net, “he (Maina) is never afraid of the EFCC or any anti-graft agency. In fact, he is ready to testify as a state witness against the 43 pension thieves he arrested provided the EFCC is ready to account for why they failed to secure conviction of these suspects since 2011. Government and Nigerians ought to start asking these questions.”
“We have all the facts and documents ready to back up our testimony and would will readily present it to the appropriate independent panel of enquiry as soon as “we are ready to confront the real corrupt elements”.
“Mr President needs to ask for answers to logical questions to get to know what EFCC is actually doing. We want to still reiterate our earlier affirmation that under the leadership of Maina as the pension board, 43 persons were arrested and handed over to the EFCC to prosecute while 222 houses were seized from them.
“In the current media trial where all manners of stories have been published, there have been a lot of distortion of facts and sometimes, outright blackmail, all in an attempt to paint the PRTT boss black.
“The pension cabal has penetrated the system so much that their presence can be seen and felt in high places. We request for an enabling environment to put things in their right places vide documentary evidences.
“It is only a wicked man that runs when no one chases him. Whenever the EFCC and other anti-graft agencies are ready to go for actual prosecution the 43 pension thieves arrested some years back, Maina would not only see credibility and help EFCC in prosecuting the suspects, but surely say his own side of the story. Nigerians are wiser than some people may think.”