former Chairman of the defunct Presidential Pension Reform tasks team, Dr. AbdulRasheed Maina

Trace Reporters –A group of young professionals under the aegis of Young Professionals for Unity and Better Nigeria has called on the Federal Government to release the former Chairman of the defunct Presidential Pension Reform tasks team, Dr. AbdulRasheed Maina from Custody.

The spokesperson of the group, Mr Raphael Ajibade ,highlighted in detail why Nigeria at this excruciating economic times requires the services of Mr. Maina to recover the urgently needed funds for the Federal Government to finish up its pending project thereby complimenting the effort of Government.

While giving a brief account of the travails of Maina, the activist said it is sad he was  enmeshed in persecution and injustice and reminded Nigerians to the genesis of Maina’s predicaments.

“In June 2010, under the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan, Maina, a civilian, was appointed head of a joint task force which comprised of the officials of the EFCC, ICPC, DSS, NIA, POLICE, ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OFFICE, ACCOUNTANT GENERAL’S OFFICE, AUDITOR GENERAL’S OFFICE, PUBLIC COMPLAINTS COMMISSION, CUSTOMS, IMMIGRATION AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES etc, to investigate and restructure the variuos pension boards. The aim of this task force was to carry out restructuring and investigations into the stories surrounding pension scams. Where are all the other team members?”

“The task force officially started their assignment on 1st January, 2011. This Task force (Committee) was created for a specific term with it’s terms of reference; to clean the pension mess, restructure the system, and disperse.”

“The Pension Reform Task Team was not a statutory body, as such does not have an account of it’s own, they draw their travel or other work approvals from the office of the Head of service of the federation.”

“Maina, a highly talented Computer and systems technology scientist distinguished himself in this assignment through his dedication and aptitude that by July of 2011 he had bearded the monster of corruption in the pension sector enough to recover reasonable funds for the government and sieved out about 73,000 ghost workers and fake pensioners. The sum of N1.63 trillion worth of assets and cash and another cash of N282bn were recovered, prompting the then Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo Iweala to inform the 7th Senate that she “had the approval of the president to use N74bn from Maina’s recovery to augment the 2012 budget”. It did not stop there, Maina stopped the monthly stealing  of N4.275bn from the Head of Service Pension Office, saved and stopped the daily stealing of N300M from the Police Pension Account in Lagos, and brought down monthly releases from treasury of the Police Pension Account from N1.5bn to N484 million.”

“This is unprecedented in the history of Nigeria as no individual living or dead has recovered stolen funds of this enormity. As a result of Maina’s ingenuity, 43 suspects were arrested and handed over to the EFCC/ICPC for further investigation and prosecution.”

“Maina was reinstated by the present government via a Federal High Court Order of April, 2013 in an apparent vindication and compensation for his unfair dismissal. Indeed, the government seems to have realized the value of his service when Maina gave intelligence that led to the recovery of N1.3 trillion Naira in 2017 which was attested to, by the Attorney General of the Federation to the National Assembly. This, in return, triggered once again, harassment from security agencies engineered by powerful forces. Assassins later attacked him firing several shots at his vehicle while leaving the Presidential villa. Infact it took the grace of God that Maina escaped unscathed.”

“The records of recoveries made by Maina has even been affirmed by the Attorney general of the federation during an investigative panel set up by the senate to investigate his reinstatement into the civil service. The AGF not only confirmed the recoveries, but went further to tell the panel that they brought Maina into the country and got him reinstated in national interest.”

On Maina’s deteriorating health condition, he said “the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital in a letter written to the Controller General of the Correctional Service and copied to Rickey Tarfa & Co, suggest that Maina is living under life threatening condition which require him to undergo urgent multiple surgeries Further investigation revealed that Maina’s health has degenerated considerably. If the public may recall, Maina was diagnosed with several life threatening ailments,(Tumours in Multiple places ,neck fracture, Sudden loss of hearing, replacement of both his knee caps, cardio vascular desease, etc  ”

“This has been a cause of concern for his family, friends, associates and many Nigerians. Sadly, despite several letters written by Doctors to the leadership of the correctional center for him to undergo these different  surgical procedures, no positive response has been received from those holding him in custody.”

“We therefore plead with the Leadership of the correctional service to let him have access to full medical attention as even condemned criminals enjoy this service unhindered and all the time.”

“With the difficult economic and security situation in the country, and his deteriorating health, there is no better person to be released and engaged once again to recover more funds for Nigeria than AbdulRasheed Maina.”

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