He was picked to reform pensions. Yes, he hasn’t always been the face of corruption. He discovered pension ghosts and their living cohorts. They had been draining the sweat and blood of Nigerian workers. He brought innovation. He became an anti corruption Czar. Monies were recovered, many were prosecuted. His sun looked like it would never set.
Maina was a mere deputy director in the civil service. His fortunes didn’t last long. He says he is a diligent public servant committed to suffocating retired and practising pensions thieves. The EFCC says Maina is a rogue. He was picked by Oronsanye and Jonathan to head the Pensions Reform Task Force in 2010. By 2012, his dirty linens were hanging in the sun.
In 2012 Maina shunned the Senate investigations into allegations of corruption involving the Pension Reforms Team. Maina said the Senate was frolicking with and fighting for pensions thieves. An incensed Senate accused then president Jonathan of shielding a criminal suspect. Maina said he was a victim of his own righteousness.
He said he had ruined the livelihood of big roaches. He claimed there were persecutions and death threats. The president listened to him. And gave him a bullet-proof vehicle and security guards. A frustrated Senate issued an arrest warrant. Maina mocked the senators. The police looked away. The Senate threw its hands in the air, and handed him over to God.
Maina, who claimed he had recovered 282 billion Naira for the country, was later declared wanted for a 2 billion Nara fraud. He went underground. Some said he went overseas. He said he ran for his life. He was dismissed from the public service for absconding from duty. He approached a court to enforce his rights. He got some reprieve. The arrest warrant was quashed and his dismissal revoked for want of due process. The court of public opinion wasn’t that rights conscious. He remained an outcast.
In 2015 , the EFCC charged Oransaye and others. Maina was not on the charge sheet. He couldn’t be charged in absentia. His name featured prominently in the unending tales of bogus biometric contracts. Witnesses who worked closely with him indicted him in their elaborate testimonies. Maina remained elusive.
A few days ago, Maina came out from nowhere. He had crawled back into the public service. He had been promoted by the Federal Civil Service Commission. He had been redeployed to the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Maina, the elusive magician, had swayed the Attorney General to issue a favorable legal advice. The Attorney General is adamant and claims he acted in the interest of Justice. The law must truly be an ass. The EFCC which the Attorney General claims he supervises is still wide- eyed, looking for a missing Maina. They say he is their fugitive. The Attorney General didn’t find out from the EFCC if Maina still had questions to answer. The Attorney General is an an apostle of the rule of law.
Maina is back from the blues but his magic has not waned. The magic that held Jonathan spell bound has been effective on the Buhari presidency. His magic must have been so smooth sailing this time, he could have regretted not asking them to make him a permanent secretary. He got a double promotion. He could have taken literally any position in government he wanted.
Maina claims innocence. He is filled with righteous indignation. He thinks the 282 billion cash he recovered has been stolen. He thinks Okonjo Iweala, the finance minister, would know what happened to the money. A deputy director who has no budget votes, he never ceases to trumpet. Maina announces his righteousness. Witnesses say monies were always carted in Ghana- must-go to his Maine’s female secretary.
The EFCC has sealed about eight properties worth billions of Naira, supposedly belonging to Maina. Maina says he is poor. He hasn’t said how he came by the properties. Maina must be a worker of many miracles. Well, if the testimony of others like him are anything to go by, we can predict his source of money. He could say he bought the houses from gifts by his numerous friends. He could also say his poor grandmother left him many millions.
The EFCC is in a suspicious frenzy. They have gone on a sealing spree. Why did the EFCC not seal the houses while Maina was on the run? Who was shielding Maina from the fangs of the EFCC? Many believe Maina has been around for a while. A senator claims Maina has been moving around under the protection of federal security agents. Maina must have been working miracles since he was born. How did he sneak in and secure such protection?
We know how miracles are worked in Nigeria. They are not worked by praying and fasting alone. How else could a Maina turn very senior government officials into zombies? And how did he paralyze and conscript federal institutions? Maina is not a witch doctor. Many senators want the Attorney General and Minister of Interior sacked. But that alone won’t scratch the surface. The Attorney General has done a ‘COZA’. He has said he won’t speak about the scandal until he is directed to speak. That COZA pastor has not spoken about that sex scandal till today.
I had thought the story of Maina’s return and re-instatement was a hoax. I thought the government would describe it as deliberate falsehood sown by its desperate opponents to cause public disaffection and embarrass the president. This is the age of fake news. I was wrong. The president has ordered Maina’s sack. So, truly, the miracle happened.
The President should leave Maina for the EFCC. A man doesn’t chase rats while his house is on fire. The presidency has been defiled. He must show that he is still allergic to corruption. He must show that he is still in control of the government he heads. He has created a credibility deficit with the tardy handling of the SGF report. The President needs to redeem himself and save his many supporters further anguish.
He must act swiftly. He must dismiss and prosecute all those involved in this scandal. He must unearth their motives and motivations. He must worry about the mental capacities of the men he hired. How on earth did they plan to get away with this? He must refurbish the security network and make it less vulnerable to money and nepotism. He must reorganize the public service and make it less susceptible to political manipulation. He must act to retain public confidence.
My President, your clock is running.