Maina blames Magu for predicament, begs Malami for review of charges

September 3, 2020
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Disgraced former Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT), Abdulrasheed Maina, has alleged that his prosecution was orchestrated by Ibrahim Magu, suspended Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Maina in a petition to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami in which he asked for the review of the fraud charges against him, said the suspended EFCC chairman failed to account for the assets recovered and kept in EFCC’s custody when he (Maina) was in office.

He said: “In the course of his assignment as the chairman of the PRTT team the sum of N1.63 trillion and a total of 237 properties were recovered by the team consisting of representatives of the EFCC. DSS, ONSA, Police etc.”

In a letter addressed to the AGF, Maina through his counsel Edwin Inegedu, described his prosecution as a “witch-hunt” by the EFCC.

Inegedu argued that rather than commend Maina and his team for a job well done, he was singled out for persecution by persons believed to be behind the pension heist.

“This demand by our client became necessary as our client was consistently accused of diversion of the funds recovered. Instead of accounting for the sums and properties in its custody, the EFCC maintained a campaign of calumny against our client to obfuscate the issues and to divert attention from its inability to account for the properties warehoused with it.

“It is our prayer that the office of the honourable attorney-general of the federation review all of the files involving our client to ensure that our client’s prosecution is not malicious, mala fide and borne out of narrow interests to prevent accountability for the assets kept in the EFCC’s custody.”

Recall that the Federal Civil Service Commission had dismissed Maina in 2013 for absconding from duty following a recommendation by the office of the head of service.

He was accused of being involved in pension fraud running into over N100 billion. After an investigation by the senate joint committee on public service establishment, a warrant of arrest was issued against him.

Subsequently, the police and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) declared him wanted and he went into hiding.

Maina was reinstated as a director in the ministry of interior in 2017 after his return, but President Muhammadu Buhari ordered his dismissal and demanded a probe into his recall after an outcry by citizens.

On October 1, the Department of State Services (DSS) apprehended Maina at a hotel in Abuja after he allegedly sneaked into the country from Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

He was arraigned on 12 counts of money laundering by the EFCC on October 25, 2019.

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