Interview

Pension thieves must be prosecuted –maina

In this concluding part of the interview, former Chairman of the dissolved Pension Reform (PRTF), Abdulrasheed Maina explains why pension thieves must be prosecuted.

Now I am going to show documents to show that I had nothing to do with the N2.1 billion. Now this is the contract for biometric payment to Innovative Solutions. The money was N161,475. The person who wrote the letter was K.M Lawal (Mrs.), Director of Pensions. This was on 10th June, 2010. That was the beginning of the biometric and it was recommended by Charles Bonnat who was the permanent Secretary, ERO and approved by the Head of Service. This is one of the documents. Where is Maina here? Why did I become part of the N2.1 billion that was spent? I was not part of any N2.1 billion. They just want to link me up with that. They even took my secretary, old secretary and detained her for 10 days because she refused to write a lie and gave her a document to write. And they coerced her, gave her a document that she must write. She told me the names of the people who coerced her, one Rukaiyat Ibrahim, that’s what I heard, Habibu Adamu Aliyu, one Mr. Fagarinya and one other Yoruba person. She told me. Her family called me and told me this is what is happening to your secretary. They called her and coerced and said ‘look, we have been given an assignment to do, that you must write something against Maina, whatever it is. You collected money and gave to Maina.’ Who gave me money? Okay somebody told them he gave me a cheque and that he is a contractor and he gave me a cheque. In this age, somebody is saying he gave me money?

Let me ask you, is the EFCC not part of all these?

(Cuts in) They are part and parcel of all.

If they are part of it why would they be looking for you?

Now let me show you why the EFCC is part of the biometric exercise. This is a memo that they want to pay DTA of N56 million for police, EFCC, ICPC and DSS staff. Now, a chunk of the members going out for biometric capture are EFCC staff. I have their names.  I have their account numbers. The same thing N104 million, Mr. K.M Lawal she wrote to the Head of Service through her permanent secretary, her permanent secretary recommended and Head of Service approved. She took the money and gave to EFCC staff and whoever that travelled. What has Maina got to do with that? This is another sample. This is another sample of how…this is biometric money. How much is this? This was given to Adamson. Adamson is a personal assistant to Mrs. K.M Lawal. Here is his name. This is how they were spreading the money. She wrote it and the permanent secretary approved because the Head of Service travelled. This is even the document for the biometric. The same; so how come that Maina is being accused of biometric that I know nothing about? Who gave me the money? Where did the money come in from? Secondly, this is the document for the contract for the biometric. The person who applied was K.M Lawal. Charles Bonnat who was the Permanent Secretary was the one who recommended and Head of Service approved. This is N65 million. This is N70 million for EFCC. Look at… it is for EFCC, ICPC personnel. Out of this N175 million, N56 was paid out to

EFCC, ICPC, police, CIPPO, DSS, Head of Service , Customs, Immigration, prisons, Civil Defense, Attorney-General’s office, Accountant-General office staff. All these people were those going for the biometrics. You can now see all these things are biometrics. Now, how then did I come to spending these monies? Let me tell you, these people in the pension office of the EFCC were asked to ensure that they nail Maina by any means possible. The next thing is that after I gave the federal government the intelligence and they got N1.3 trillion, I came back. I was working between the office of the Attorney-General’s Office and the security agencies…

(Cuts in) Let’s clear this point. Was it after you came back that you realised the N1.3 trillion?

That was even before I came back. I gave the intelligence. The Minister of Justice said it at the Senate hearing. He told them. I never wanted to talk about it, but because he said it that is why I am repeating it. Even the other recoveries I made I will never discuss it. It is left for government to say. I will never say it. It is because the Minister mentioned the N1.3 trillion that is why I am talking about it. After I came back, this process of reinstating me was taking place and the court judgement was sent to civil service commission. They sat down, had a meeting and they sent it to the Head of Service. The Head of Service held a meeting and sent to the Minister of Interior; the Minister of Interior sat down and they came out with their report. (showing the report of the senior staff committee of the Ministry of Interior); the same thing with the Head of Service senior staff committee. All these people I do not even know any one of them. I think they are… how many of them (reaches out to the document again). They are about 25 of them. I do not know them. They sat down and decided that, but in 2012, they were coerced to remove me. It was not done right so they decided now that I should return. So they did it and sent it to the Head of Service. The Head of Service Senior staff committee met and when they finished they sent it to the civil service committee. They met, discussed and decided ‘Okay let us return this guy back to his office like the court directed based on the recommendation of the senior staff committee of the Ministry of Interior and Head of Service, not based on the Minister’s letter.’

Let me correct this. The Minister only conveyed the court order to the civil service commission. The civil service commission sat down… they are intelligent people and they are independent of the office of the Minister. So they sat down and realised that something wrong happened. So they now went and rectified it. They rectified it and reposted me to the same ministry that I left. I left Ministry of Interior as deputy director. Nobody promoted me. Nobody promoted me to the position of director. They advised that I should take the next promotion examination. Now, I am only trying to ask you do the right thing. The president wants us to sanitise this country; let’s help the president, give him the right advice; let him know exactly what is happening. I have documents to show where monies can be retrieved. I have staff, informants and a lot of people. Listen to me. This idea of whistle blowing stuff, the Association of whistle blowers came to me and met me in one of the security agencies’ office and told me that they have not been paid and they want me to come in. They gave me a lot of information. I looked at the information and realised that I also had those information. Now, if somebody can go and get N1.6 trillion; now you sit down, you do not have a job other than paint my father’s house; my father who died almost 20 years ago, you are painting his house. That tells you that you are waiting for somebody. That tells everybody now that you are working for somebody because if you are attacking me, go to any property that is mine. I am only telling you some of the rhetoric. People do not know the politics behind it.

There is one thing I want to clarify. The Chairman of EFCC, Ibrahim Magu came on air and said that he was going to go to Dubai, Uk, America and he is going to fetch Maina and bring him back…

(Cuts in) That day I laughed. You know why I laughed. I laughed because Nigerians were being taken for a ride. How could Magu that I respect so much say that? But he lied. How can you say you are going to fetch me in Dubai, USA, UK when you know I am here in Nigeria with you. When you know I have been in Nigeria for ages. When you know I have been working with you; common, common. I am tired of this and I feel I am not getting justice.

You were given an office when they reinstated you, is that correct?

Yes. They reinstated me and immediately when the pension thieves realised that I have been reinstated, they raised the alarm and somebody went and lied to Mr. President and Mr. President…I am sure Mr. President does not know…somebody came to tell me that Mr. President said ‘I am disengaged.’ I said ‘there is no way the president would know I did this and he would say I am disengaged’ because Mr. President is here to fight corruption and he would never allow corruption to fight back. And I am saying it is a lie. Somebody must have gone to put words in the mouth of Mr. President.

So, what do you want the presidency to do?

I am saying that why is it that the former SGF and other big personalities were 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. Now, let’s take the issue of N2.1 billion. Now, I want the Federal Government to pay me five percent because this N1.3 trillion, I gave the government while I was not in office. So pay me the five percent of the N1.3 trillion, remove the N2.1 billion and give me the balance. This is what I am asking. 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. I know the money routes and somebody said to me the other time ‘why don’t I go and head the …and I said ‘I can’t go there because it is something I can do on my system, sitting down because I have the relevant software to go after these monies.’

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.

So what is happening to the pension thieves? Where are they? Are they still there?

Nigerians I want to say this. These 43 pension thieves are still standing trials. They have been standing trial for the last six years. You know why? EFCC staff tampered with the evidences because they don’t want these people to be prosecuted. I offered to be a star witness to get conviction because I have the documents to show to get conviction. They don’t want me. You know why? Because they know if I get there these people will be convicted. You know why? Because they have collected monies from these guys. You know why? Because they took their houses and gave to their Nephews, brothers, staff and sold some to some people and so on. Now, they will never want to see Maina. They hate Maina like anything. I am the least person…let me ask you a question, If ICPC can arrest somebody, who arrests ICPC operatives if he does something wrong? If I want to get immuned, I just go and engage in problem with ICPC and I start stealing because nobody comes after them because that is the height of the authority. No law enforcement agency is above the EFCC. None! It is wrong.

But the Senate has the powers to question the activities of the EFCC.

I don’t want to get into that politics because that is political. Me I can only talk about what I know and what I can do for Nigeria.

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