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Published On: Tue, Nov 21st, 2017

N2.1bn pension scam: Maina seeks open probe panel

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From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna

The embattled former chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT), Abdurasheed Maina has challenged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to an open debate over the N2.1 billion he is being alleged of stealing.
Main insisted that, he is innocent of the alleged stealing of the N2.1 billion, among others flying around.
In his latest revelation through his lawyer, Barr Sani Katu, the former PRTT boss said, he did not steal a dime from the pension fund but rather, it is the federal government that is owing him over N159 billion.
He, however, challenged the EFCC to meet him at an open panel of investigation where he would reveal all the unknowns to Nigerians.
According to him, “In 2011 we stopped the stealing of N300m daily from police pension. Also, in 2011, we stopped the stealing if N1.04bn monthly from police pension allocation. Same 2011, we were able to stop the yearly stealing of N52.5bn which has been an annual ritual at the head of service pension office.
“It would interest you to know that, between 2011 and 2012 the PRTT recovered cash and assets worth N1.63trn which have been with the EFCC.
“It may be recalled that, some pensioners petitioned the National Assembly to ensure that EFCC produce these recoveries so that Nigerians would know.
“These recoveries belong to Nigerians and thus the need to know the whereabout of these monies and properties. The Pensioners urged EFCC in their Petition to stop diverting the attention of Nigerians from the N1.63trillion towards an imaginary and concocted N2.1bn fraud, that EFCC pension Fraud unit created using coercion to hide the monies some of them stole and the result is that conviction of the 43 alleged notorious pension cartel which may never be possible.
“Similarly, between 2016 and June 2017, Maina, released the intelligence and tip-offs that stopped the annual stealing of N1.3trn.
(This has been confirmed by the Attorney General and Minister of Justice of the Federation).
“Also between February 2017 to October 2017, He also recovered N152bn, N60bn, and other sensitive materials. These achievements goes to further the importance of Maina to this Country. It means the Government acted in public interest by obeying Court order which brought Maina to office.
“Now let’s total what Maina recovered, then apply the whistle blower 5%, and get the total to be paid to Maina, then subtract N2.1bn which even though is a complete fabrication by the EFCC, then pay him the balance.
“Let’s meet at an open panel of investigation if the EFCC is truly straightforward.” We urge the Government to appoint an independent panel of investigation and see who will run out of Nigeria.”

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