Embattled former chairman of the dissolved Pension Reform Task Force Team (PRTT), Abdulrasheed Maina, has asked those calling for his head to shift attention to Aso Rock where he alleged bigger names accused of stealing public money are still walking the corridors of power.
He said the anti-corruption fight of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government has not achieved result because those close to the president were lying to him.
“The unfortunate thing is that some people around him (President) whom he has trusted are lying to him. I can attest to this and I can give you instances and documentary evidences. People portray themselves as if they are saints. It is a lie; they are not. We know it and that is why they are after my life.
“Why is it that the former SGF and other big personalities accused of stealing monies, including big personalities in the Villa, nobody is talking about them? Maina who is just a deputy director whom the Minister of Justice has said the DSS has cleared of any wrongdoing. The National Security Adviser has cleared me of any wrongdoing. His office has also cleared me. The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Prosecution has cleared me of any wrongdoing and that I have no case to answer and then a small unit under the ministry will come and start fighting me for N2.1 billion.
“So are we trying to fight corruption in Nigeria or diverting attention by lying to Mr. President? Listen to me, Mr. President would have achieved more than what he has achieved. But because they are lying to Mr. President because they hate Maina, he won’t be able to achieve more. You hate me. I know why you hate me. You hate me because I am somebody who is bold. I know how to fetch the money. I know how to follow the money. We have talented people in Nigeria. Let’s start harnessing these talents and stop all these bickering and stuff out of the system. Nigerians have elected a very decent man as president and has given you the trust, please stop lying to him. Speak the truth and let’s move forward. We have so much to recover”, he said.
Maina, who has been in hiding since he was declared wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for allegedly diverting recovered pension funds to the tune of N195billion said he was wrongly accused of the crime.
“There is no N195bn. Senator Kabiru Gaya in April of 2016 said the money he allegedly said was stolen is actually in the Buhari administration’s Treasury Single Account (TSA). And that is one problem. Nigerians should start thinking. Here I am, I was accused of stealing N195 billion by the senator; now the same serving senator who was a member of the same committee, co-chairing the committee now came out in 2016, after damaging my image for four years, to say it was a mistake the money is there in Buhari’s administration account. Now everybody is looking at Maina as a thief. For four years, 2012 to 2016, everybody was looking at Maina as a thief, nobody will understand, nobody will believe.”
“If you remember I told you earlier that no money was missing. There was no such money. In fact, what he said was that money was missing in the DSS, in the Military pensions and I told him it was a lie. So people just sit at home, they look at TV and believe anything they see on TV. Now let me tell you this. I happen to have been in the corridors of power and I know and understand how power works. If they want to divert attention they send you on a wild goose chase while the actual meat is being cooked. Now, this was what happened to me in the last administration. I had to run because I was shot at, I was almost killed. I was threatened, my family was threatened and I had to leave.”
He wondered how an individual in a committee with representatives drawn from the EFCC, Independent Corrupt and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) could steal N195bn without the collaboration of the committee.
“How can somebody accuse you, a person, not the committee, of stealing N195bn? Okay, if I had stolen N195 bn, then how much did the EFCC take, how much did the ICPC and other security agencies take?These are questions Nigerians should be asking. As soon as somebody says this is the thief, everybody goes after him and nobody asks questions. All they are trying to do is to divert attention from the actual money I recovered to something that is insignificant,” he said.
He also alleged that the acting chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu had invited him on several occasions to work with him and he turned the invitation down
“There are so many things you have been doing in that office. You wanted me to work with you and you have been inviting me but I don’t want to work with you because I know so many things are not going right in the EFCC. Who checks you? Who checks your staff? Who checks EFCC? Most of your staff have mansions. What have you done? You have received countless petitions and allegations against your staff, what have you done about them? EFCC goes after people in red dress. That person in red dress is a thief. He has stolen so much money from Nigeria because nobody checks them. Let there be an authority to check them” Maina said.