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EFCC Detains Hamisu Mai Rago

Posted by By Abdullahi M. Gulloma, Daily Trust (Abuja) on 2005/10/02 | Views: 652 |

EFCC Detains Hamisu Mai Rago


A political associate of Vice President Atiku Abubakar's and former Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), Alhaji Yusuf Hamisu Abubakar, popularly called Mai Rago, is being detained by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFFC) because of his previous roles as commissioner of finance in Kaduna state and the PTDF.

A political associate of Vice President Atiku Abubakar's and former Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), Alhaji Yusuf Hamisu Abubakar, popularly called Mai Rago, is being detained by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFFC) because of his previous roles as commissioner of finance in Kaduna state and the PTDF.

A dependable EFCC source told Daily Trust yesterday that Mai Rago, who was said to have been arrested by some operatives of the commission for questioning since the weekend, was still being detained as of 7:30pm yesterday when our reporter spoke to the source.

The former PTDF scribe was recently embroiled in a legal battle with the Kaduna state government over allegations of fraud in the award of contracts for the supply of equipment to Barau Dikko Specialist Hospital in Kaduna town, which is owned by the state government.

But in a swift reaction to the issue when contacted by Daily Trust yesterday, the Director General in charge of Media and Publicity in the Kaduna state government, Alhaji Mukhtar Sirajo, stated that the current probe of the ex-PTDF boss "has nothing to do with the Kaduna state government."

The Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi government had earlier set up an administrative commission of inquiry which investigated the contract controversy and subsequently indicted Mai Rago. But while the Makarfi government was allegedly planning to issue a white paper on the report of the commission of inquiry, Yusuf Hamisu, who is a lawyer by profession, pre-empted the government by challenging the panel's ruling in a Kaduna high court seeking an injunction to restrain it.

After several months of legal tussle, the former PTDF executive secretary emerged victorious as the court granted his request by restraining the government from carrying out further action on the matter.

Barely three days after the ruling however and while the Makarfi government was planning to institute a judicial commission of inquiry to re-try the matter, Mai Rago was removed from his position as executive secretary of the Petroleum Technology Development Fund in very controversial circumstances.

It would be recalled that in May 2002, Governor Ahmed Makarfi had in a letter addressed to President Olusegun Obasanjo requested the removal of Mai Rago as the PTDF scribe. In a letter titled "Replacement of Executive Secretary Petroleum Technology Development Fund," the governor requested that Mai Rago should be replaced by the then Secretary to Kaduna State Government, Charles Bonat, who is currently a director in the office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation (HOCSF).

The one-page letter dated May 14, 2002 with reference number T/SU/K/14/02 reads in part: "I respectfully refer to our discussion on the need for the above change and wish to respectfully forward the CV of the current Secretary to the Kaduna State Government, Mr. Charles Bonat, as a replacement for Yusuf Hamisu Abubakar as Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Technology Development Fund

"He is a seasoned, trustworthy and honest administrator and will meet federal government's desire to redress the issue of fairer representation raised by the senatorial zone from the state."

Reacting to the issues yesterday however the Kaduna state spokesman reiterated that "we have nothing to do with his ordeal at the EFCC. And let me state clearly that Governor Makarfi had nothing to do with Alhaji Yusuf Hamisu's removal from office by the federal government as executive secretary of the PTDF."

When reminded that Makarfi had in 2002 written to the President requesting for Mai Rago's removal from office, a copy of which letter Daily Trust has, Alhaji Mukhtar said: "Well, if you are talking of 2002, there were two letters actually. Let's be fair to ourselves. One (of the letters) asking for his (Mai Rago's) removal and the other asking that he should be retained.

"Yes, there was a letter asking that he should be removed. But shortly afterwards, when all the disagreements were resolved, His Excellency swiftly wrote another letter requesting that the president should disregard the earlier one", he said. He reiterated that "we have absolutely nothing to do with his sack and predicaments at the EFCC".

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Comments (3)

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Okfold(Sobe, Edo, Nigeria)says...

I want the meaning of female owan name Ekeke (Edo state)

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Toluwalase Samuel Olufemi(Ijebu, Ogun, Nigeria)says...

Authority belongs to God, once He decrees it is final and binding

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Ikponmwosa Osamede(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Your meaning of Osamede is wrong. Osamede means God has given me a crown