Home / Featured / Pension scam: Abdulrasheed Maina spits fire

Pension scam: Abdulrasheed Maina spits fire

*Exposed Ibrahim Magu’s role in PRTT

*Many EFCC operatives are thieves

*Names dramatis personae in the saga

Abdulrasheed Maina, former Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Force Team (PRTT) having been declared wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for allegedly helping himself with some of the funds recovered in the course of carrying out his task is angry. In this interview, he provided answers to some of the puzzling questions arising in the minds of Nigeria. This is the first in four series of the long interview granted without bars:

You have told us how you managed to escape being killed. This time around they said you had disappeared, escaped, re-appeared, disengaged and promoted. How possible is this?

Well, just as the statement sounds, it sounds so to me because while I expect the Nigerian authorities or the system to create that statement, I also want to say this: During the last administration I had a running battle with the pension looters. Now, this is a person who was given the leadership of a committee that was charged with the responsibility of restructuring the pension office in Nigeria.

We started with the office of the Head of Service, Special Office. In my team, I had the EFCC, 47 staff of the EFCC working with me. I had 37 staff of the ICPC in that committee. Even though they had senior representations on the committee like Deputy Directors, they also had other auxiliary staff working in the committee in all the other sections. So, was NIA, DSS…I can even give you their names.

First of all from the EFCC we had Ibrahim Adoke; we also had Colonel Sule and then later, the last person was Mohammed Wakili who was working hand in hand with Ibrahim Lamurde.

Now, from the ICPC we had G.T. Idris who was on the board and we had Hassan Saliu and also from the DSS, we had Miss Odoemena and Mr. Uhuru. And then from NIA, we had the present DG, Mohammed Dauda, who was a member. We also had Babagana Kaigama who has been the Director of Finance of the PTAD which is a transformation from PRTT and we had a representation from the Attorney-General’s office, Mr. Kasumu. We had representations from the Auditor-General’s office, from the Police and all the security agencies. But the next thing I heard was Maina, Maina, Maina….

(Cuts in) If I may come in, the last time you escaped being killed you were accused of stealing N195 billion…

(Cuts in) Yes, that was the issue. I was trying to bring you back to that. How can somebody accuse you, a person, not the committee, of stealing N195 billion? Okay, if I had stolen N195 billion, then how much did the EFCC take, how much did the ICPC and other security agencies take? This is the questions Nigerians should be asking. Nigerians just bay for blood where there is none. As soon as somebody says this is the thief, everybody goes after him and nobody ask questions. Let me tell you, all they are trying to do is to divert attention from the actual money I recovered to something that is insignificant. Now, let me say this.

First, when they said I had stolen N195 billion and the pension thieves who had given the then Senate Committee about N3 billion which was confirmed because I have documents to show the Nigerian public, based on the petition written by those who orchestrated the plan, they were given money to do it and they came in and said we were given money to come in and say ‘Maina did this.’

Now, they wrote petition to ICPC, EFCC and they were recorded live where they were saying ‘my name is so, so and so, I am a lawyer to T. D. Shaibu and I am Personal Assistant to Senator Etok, we were given money. We lodged in a hotel called Top Rank and all they gave us was to say we should go in and defame Mr. Maina and to write anything we want to write on Mr. Maina.’

I don’t know these guys. I just heard it when I saw a copy of the petition. Nigerians are not even looking at that. They are not asking what is happening to those people.

 (Cuts in) What is happening to the N195 billion?

 

Senator Kabiru Gaya...I lied against Maina
Senator Kabiru Gaya…I lied against Maina

There is no N195 billion missing anywhere. Distinguished Senator Kabiru Gaya in an interview with The Sun newspaper in April of 2016 said the money he allegedly said was stolen is actually in the Buhari administration’s TSA (Treasury Single Account). And that is one problem. Nigerians should start thinking.

Here I am, I was accused of stealing N195 billion by the same serving Senate; now the same serving Senator who was a member of the same committee, co-chairing the committee, now came out in 2016, after damaging my image for four years, to say it was a mistake the money is there in Buhari’s administration account.

Now, everybody is looking at Maina as a thief. For four years, 2012 to 2016, everybody was looking at Maina as a thief, nobody will understand, nobody will believe.

So the N195 billion was not stolen after all?

No. If you remember I told you earlier that no money was missing. There was no such money. In fact, what he said was that money was missing in the DSS, in the Military pensions and I told him it was a lie. So people just sit at home, they look at TV and believe anything they see on TV. Now let me tell you this.

I happen to have been in the corridors of power and I know and understand how power works. If they want to divert attention they send you on a wild goose chase while the actual meat is being cooked. Now, this was what happened to me in the last administration. I had to run because I was shot at, I was almost killed. I was threatened, my family was threatened and I had to leave. Now there was an opportunity for the present leadership to come.

As soon as I left and during the transition of PRTT into PTAD which was organised to push Maina out and continue looting, I immediately raised the alarm. I said there was N35 billion that was going to be stolen. They thought I was joking. The N35 billion was stolen from the office of the Head of Service. I wrote a letter to the ICPC. ICPC went and arrested 19 staff of the Head of Service. Now, the outcome of that investigation I don’t know.

The money was stolen; they recovered a lot of money. The pity is that Nigerian people do not know and they do not want to sit down and ask questions.

The last time you left this country it was said that you recovered N1.6 trillion and that the money was kept in Central Bank by the then Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. What happened to the money?

Dr (Mrs) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala...spoke so well of Maina to Senate
Dr (Mrs) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala…spoke so well of Maina to Senate

Now listen to me.  It was more than that. I recovered money for the last administration and also recovered for this administration. People don’t know this and they may not understand this. I want the truth to be told and I want Nigerians to understand the truth. I know what is going on in Nigeria. I am not afraid of anybody, I am saying the truth.

Now, our president…thank God he stands for the truth. The unfortunate thing is that some people around him whom he has trusted are lying to him. I can attest to this and I can give you instances and documentary evidences. People portray themselves as if they are saints. It is a lie; they are not. We know it and that is why they are after my life. What do you mean people are looking for me from EFCC? I have been in Nigeria for 11 months working.  I see Ibrahim Magu every day…

(Cuts in) You mean since you were declared wanted you have been in Nigeria?

What do you mean? I had a meeting in Dubai with the Minister of Justice and the National Security Adviser on the approval of the president after I was cleared of any wrongdoing by the DSS, the office of the National Security Adviser which is supposed to be the one in charge of all the security agencies.

Now, is EFCC not under the Ministry of Justice and the National Security Adviser’s office? What are they talking about? So, is EFCC now saying the NSA is a liar? Is

Ibrahim Magu EFCC Chairman...dirty details oozing out
Ibrahim Magu EFCC Chairman…dirty details oozing out

EFCC trying to say the Minister of Justice is a liar? What are they trying to do? Is it that he does not respect the Minister of Justice or constituted authority or it is because people say he has the ears of the president so whatever he wants to do he does with impunity?

I don’t fear you Mr. Magu. I am being honest with you and I am straight forward with you. We are from the same state but you are not telling the government the truth. There are so many things you have been doing in that office. You wanted me to work with you and you have been inviting me but I don’t want to work with you because I know so many things are not going right in the EFCC.

Who checks you? Who checks your staff? Who checks EFCC? Most of your staff have mansions and I have pictures of their buildings. (Displays pictures of buildings allegedly belonging to EFCC staff). What have you done?  You have received countless petitions and allegations against your staff, what have you done about them?

EFCC goes after people in red dress. That person in red dress is a thief. He has stolen so much money from Nigeria because nobody checks them. Let there be an authority to check them. I said first, we as a team recovered N282 billion cash which the then Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, took to CBN. We recovered assets. She went to the Senate on a live broadcast to say I have the approval of Mr. President to remove N74 billion from that money to fund the budget.

She got the approval and that money which we recovered was moved to the 2012 budget. The second thing is that we caught 43 pension thieves. My job as the Task Force Team chairman was to oversee what the members of my team are doing. EFCC was well represented and I remember telling you that EFCC was represented by Ibrahim Adoke. After Adoke left, Colonel Sule came, after Sule left, Mohammed Wakili who was working with Ibrahim Lamurde also joined us.

If I may ask, was Ibrahim Magu not in the EFCC then?

He was Director of Operations. He was part of the EFCC. Everything we did in the biometric, we did with EFCC. Let me show you {reaches out for the documents). These are reports of EFCC to the Head of Service and to EFCC Chairman. He wrote this report. This is biometric report. What is this? (shows the EFCC report purportedly signed by Idris Sule (Col. RTD), Head, Integrity/SERVICOM).

This is another report. Now I will show you another report. These are samples of reports by EFCC and this is in 2011 by EFCC representative.

Let me see who wrote this report. This one was written by Mr. Nura Hanga, EFCC, Abuja. These are parts and parcel of EFCC embedded in the system. In fact, they are the ones doing the operations. So how come that I, as Chairman, not in the office will be able to see what they were doing?

 

To be continued tomorrow. Deeper revelations that will shock you coming. Don’t miss it.

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