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Premium Times: Apologise to Maina -Arewa Professionals

*Gaya’s recant is enough reason to return Maina to service

Following the report which an online medium, Premium Times, published tried to disparage Mr Abdulrasheed Maina’s re-absorption to the civil service by the Muhammadu Buhari administration, a group, the Arewa Youth Professionals, demand an apology from the media organisation.

In a telephone interview from his Gombe base, the National President, Barrister Garba Baba Manu, said, “the accusers of Maina led by Senator Kabiru Ibrahim Gaya, representing Kano South constituency, that alleged missing pension of N195 billion with which he was railroaded out of the civil service have come back to say the said sum is part of the Treasury Single Account (TSA).”

“On this ground alone, is it not morally right that he is returned to work? The man has two court orders, from the High Court and the National Industrial Court, both ordering he should be returned to work.

Premium Times acted either ignobly or out of context. All they published were trite, petty and very vindictive. The same medium did not give Maina and his team the credit of retrieving monies part of which N74billion were used to fund the 2013 budget.

Were the same people Maina’s team caught not still standing trial before different courts in the land? 43 of them are standing trial. What about the over 200 houses Maina’s team seized from the alleged pension thieves? Where are the houses today? Ha many of the houses not re-stolen by other people?

We demand an apology from the online medium. Ordinarily, the Senate ought to apologise to Nigerians and particularly to all those alleged to have stolen the sum in question. Since, Senator Gaya publicly and freely on his own volition disclosed their error and made the institution look so unorganised, then, was it not the same basis the online medium allowed itself to manufacture all manners of lies as news?

The Senate owes Nigerians a duty of truth, stressing that people have lost their jobs, reputation and scandalised over poor diligence by the Senate in their oversight function.

According to Barrister Baba Manu, Gaya had cleared the air in an interview he granted the Sun Newspaper on 3rd April, 2016, where he admitted that the alleged missing N195 billion, which was attributed to the leadership of the Pension Task Team in 2012, was part of the monies currently in the government’s Treasury Single Account (TSA), at the CBN.

He expressed the worry that after the clarification, Senator Gaya that led the witch-hunt against the Pension Reform Task Team and especially its erstwhile chairman, Mallam Abdulrasheed Maina, “has not deemed it necessary to admit that the Senate erred and apologise to those they wrongfully maligned.

He added that Maina lost his job and his name dragged in the mud as a result of that defamation. Government in the principle of Rule of Law obeyed the court order and some journalists without due diligence claim he was smuggled secretly back into service. What a disservice to the nation?

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