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1 Nov 2017

EFCC May Place Bounty on Ex-Pension Chief

The foremost anti-graft agency in Nigeria, EFCC, is considering the placement of a bounty on fugitive Maina who has been linked with massive corruption.
Abdulrasheed Maina
As the ex-Chairman of the defunct Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms, Abdulrasheed Maina, continues to evade arrest, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is considering placing a bounty on him.

A senior EFCC official disclosed this to one of Punch correspondents on Tuesday.

The official, who wished to remain anonymous, said no figure had been decided but added that attaching a reward to his arrest might be the best option as the same approach had made the whistle-blower policy successful.

He said, “We are seriously considering that (placing a bounty on Maina). We have not yet decided on how much but we may resort to that if he continues to evade arrest.”

Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party has said that the leaked memo from the office of the Head of Service, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, has further exposed the alleged complicity of President Muhammadu Buhari on the reinstatement of Maina into the civil service.

The party said it never believed in the President’s supposed war against corruption, adding that Buhari should be held responsible for the rot in the civil service.

Oyo-Ita had stated in her memo to the President’s Chief of Staff, Mr. Abba Kyari, that she warned the Buhari against reinstating the fugitive.

The PDP said the memo had shown that “Buhari takes joy in deceiving Nigerians.”

The former ruling party wondered why the President asked for details of how Maina was brought back into the service when he was allegedly in the know.

The spokesperson for the party, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, who spoke with one of  our correspondents in Abuja on Tuesday, called on the National Assembly to launch an investigation into the matter in order to unravel the roles played by groups and individuals in the Maina saga.

He said, “We have always said it that the President has not come clean before Nigerians on the Maina saga. The memo by the Head of Service has exposed him (Buhari.). It has shown that he was part of those who initiated Maina’s recall.

“His anti-corruption mantra is a grand deception. The President is not a man we can trust. Why did he set up a committee or asked the HoS to furnish the office of the Chief of Staff with details of how Maina returned to his office?

“We don’t know the relationship he (President Buhari ) has with Maina.  Did he collect part of the loot for financing his presidential campaign in 2015 and therefore,  he’s desirous to pay him back?

“The President has always done gang-selection in his anti-corruption war.

“Since the President has been alleged to be aware, we understand that he has immunity but we want to appeal to the National Assembly to thoroughly investigate the roles played by him and others in the matter.”

Meanwhile, Maina family has asked President Buhari to set up a high-powered panel of inquiry similar to the late Justice Chukwudifu Oputa-panel, “to allow Maina to state his own side of the story.”

The family noted that rather than subject Maina to “media trial,” which it attributed to the handiwork of “pension thieves,” the best would be a high-powered panel of inquiry that should have its proceedings in public glare.

A media consultant to Maina, Olajide Fashikun ,while briefing journalists on behalf of the family on Tuesday in Kaduna, also, disclosed that Maina was being crucified for  stopping a total of N5.32bn which he alleged was being stolen monthly in the office of the Head of Service of the Federation and the Police  Pension Office.

This and several others, he argued,  were the reasons why Maina was being haunted by those he called “pension thieves who are afraid of being exposed.”

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