Politics

MAINA: Endless controversies, as Nigerian govt officials quarrel over what went wrong since 2013

MAINA: Endless controversies, as Nigerian govt officials quarrel over what went wrong since 2013

The controversy surrounding the travails of fugitive Abdulrasheed Maina, the former chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reform Team has continued to throw up posers.

At an investigative hearing by an ad-hoc Committee of the House of Representatives, in Abuja, on the issues surrounding the reinstatement of Maina into the federal civil service, the Permanent Secretary (PS) Ministry of Interior, and the Head of Service (HoS) to the Federation, Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita had a minor disagreement.

Also, the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun and the Accountant General to the Federation (AGF) Ahmed Idris told the committee headed by Ali Madaki (APC, Kano) hat Maina was not on the payroll of the federal government, and has not been paid since February 2013.

Maina, who was alleged to have stolen about N2.1 billion pension funds and declared wanted by the government under the administration of Jonathan Goodluck, not only reappeared in the employ of the federal government, but earned a promotion.

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President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered for his sack, when his reinstatement was made public.

However, Maina in a recent video interview claimed that he met with the Minister of Justice outside Nigeria, under the directive of President Buhari.

At the committee hearing, the PS claimed that the letter to reinstate Maina came from the office of the HoS, a claim which did not go down well with Mrs Oyo-Ita as she immediately countered his position saying:

“This is not quite correct to put it mildly”.

The AGF, Idris told the Committee that the last salary Maina earned was in February, 2013.

Adeosun who corroborated the position of her AGF, said, “Maina is not in FG’s pay roll and his biometric was not even captured”.

On his part, Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Immigration Service, Mohammed Babandede, said by the Service’s records, Maina has not left the country since 2013.

He told the committee,, “We got to know about Maina on September 27, 2013 when he was going out of the country through the MMIA.

“He has three passports. The first one was an official one, expired not renewed. His current passport is valid till 2018. He also has a valid US passport to expire 26 August 2020.

“During our checks, we discovered that Maina has travelled many times. He was stopped because of an EFCC letter.

“In December 2015, we received a letter from the EFCC to remove his name from the ‘stop list.’ But after the President’s directive, we blocked his name on the passport.

“So, according to our records, he hasn’t been travelling since 2013.”

 

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