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21 Nov 2017

Reps to Begin Live Telecast of Maina's Probe Thursday

The green chamber will in two days begin the public questioning of the embattled Maina who has been accused of embezzling pension funds and running away from the law.
Mr. Abdulrasheed Maina
The House of Representatives has included the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, among the list of persons invited in connection with the investigation into the reinstatement of the former Chairman, Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms, Mr. Abdulrasheed Maina, back to service.
Also added to the list is the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun.

A document inviting the officials to a public hearing on the matter, which The PUNCH sighted on Monday, indicated that it would open on Thursday.
An ad hoc committee chaired by a member of the All Progressives Congress from Kano State, Mr. Aliyu Madaki, is in charge of the investigation.

The PUNCH had earlier reported exclusively on Friday last week that the committee had already invited the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami; Minister of Interior, Lt. Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau (retd.); the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita; the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr. Ibrahim Magu; and the Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye.

Maina, the main character, has been invited by the committee as well.

The investigative hearing is expected to be televised live by the Nigerian Television Authority on Thursday and Friday.

The committee, acting on an October 24 resolution of the House, is investigating the circumstances surrounding the reinstatement of Maina after the EFCC had initially been on his trail over alleged mishandling of pension funds.

Maina was not only reinstated but also promoted to the position of an acting director in the Ministry of Interior.

Madaki had last week confirmed the officials already invited to The PUNCH.

In a response to an electronic mail our correspondent sent to him, Madaki wrote, “Hopefully, next week (this week on Thursday) and we expect the Minister of Justice; Minister of Interior; the Head of Service; the Chairman EFCC; the Chairman, ICPC; and Maina.”

However, on Monday, the IGP and Adeosun also entered the list of the invited officials to testify before the committee.

President Muhammadu Buhari had since ordered the sacking of Maina from service.

In the October 24 resolution, the House also directed the EFCC to immediately arrest and prosecute Maina to “serve as deterrent to others who might have corrupt tendencies.”

The motion calling for the probe of the issue was moved by the Chairman, House Committee on Interior, Mr. Jagaba Adams-Jagaba.

Adams-Jagaba, a member of the APC from Kaduna State, recalled how the Nigeria Police accused Maina of “mismanaging” over N100bn” pension funds, while the EFCC declared him wanted in 2015.

The lawmaker described as “unbelievable,” how a man declared wanted by an anti-graft agency would resume duty in the public service and also promoted to the position of an acting director.

He recalled how Maina ignored invitations by the National Assembly to appear  before lawmakers to answer questions in connection with the pension funds.

Adams-Jagaba’ motion read partly, “The House recalls that Maina fled this country to the United Arab Emirates since 2013 to avoid arrest and prosecution.

“The House also recalls that he was formerly sacked from his position as an Assistant Director in the Ministry of Interior in 2013 by the administration of (former President) Goodluck Jonathan.

“The House is concerned that Maina came back from self-exile and was posted to his former ministry of interior and given double promotion from Assistant Director to Acting Director.

“The House is aware that President Muhammadu Buhari has directed his sacking from the Federal Civil Service with immediate effect.”

The House resolved to set up an ad hoc committee to conduct the investigation and specifically, to “recommend strong sanctions against any person or persons, who are implicated in the scandal.”

The motion was passed in a unanimous voice vote by lawmakers at the session, which was presided over by the Speaker, Mr. Yakubu Dogara.

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