…Chides EFCC for losing steam
By Dirisu Yakubu
ABUJA – The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called on the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to immediately relieve Abdulrahman Dambazzau and Abubakar Malami, Ministers of Interior and Justice respectively of their duties over their alleged role in the surprised reinstatement of the former Chairman, Presidential Taskforce on Pension Reforms, Abdulrasheed Maina. It also called for the arrest of Maina whose reported reinstatement elicited criticisms across the land.
In a statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, the party expressed shock at the manner of Maina’s reinstatement saying the ex-Pension boss ought to have been arrested instead.
“We demand the immediate sack of the Minister of Internal Affairs, Abdulrahman Danbazzau, Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami who have been fingered in the illegal act of restoring Maina to office against good conscience.
“All people of good conscience will not forget in a hurry that Maina, who was given an assignment by the last administration of the PDP to superintend the now defunct Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms, dipped his hands into the jar and helped himself to N100 billion of what he was supposed to safeguard.
“With good conscience at fighting corruption, the PDP government then mandated the anti-corruption agencies to perform their constitutional duty. Maina fled, only to resurface in the country four months ago under the Buhari administration.
“As a party of good conscience, we wish to condemn in strongest terms the penchant of the administration of President Buhari to giving safe haven to known criminals while hoodwinking Nigerians that it’s fighting corruption.
“While we are growing fatigued shouting ourselves hoarse in protest against nepotism, a clear form of corruption under this administration which has been elevated to state craft, we are appalled that the reinforcement of financial corruption by this government might soon lead to the demise of this nation if the celestial does not intervene,” the statement read in part.
The party also expressed worry over government’s inability to tolerate criticism, saying shielding criminals has become part of the ruling party’s work ethic.
“We are worried that the APC administration seem to have grown thick skins to constructive criticism, otherwise, no sane government, in spite of the open condemnation the party has received from Nigerians over its shielding of criminals, will repeat another one as done in the case of Maina.
“The PDP wish Nigerians can demand from the APC government, the civil service rule it relied upon in promoting a wanted criminal who had abandoned his duty post as an Assistant Director, to the position of a Director with all benefits attached.
“We wish the APC government will tell Nigerians where and when, and under which court jurisdiction, Maina was cleared of his criminal allegations of stealing, warranting his restoration to duty and getting rewarded with double promotion,” the statement continued.
The PDP also picked holes with the alleged financial windfall Maina earned upon his return, daring the Buhari administration to own up or deny the report.
“It is reported that the fugitive has been rewarded with payment of bogus salary arrears amounting to N22 million, which he has reportedly collected upon approval and release by the Accountant General of the Federation.
“We are shocked and sad as well that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) with its viable network under the administration of the PDP has suddenly lost steam to the point that it wasn’t aware of the entrance of a high class wanted criminal into the country until the media exposed it.
“Nigerians can see that the APC administration has taken the fire out of our security agencies like the Police, the Department of State Services (DSS) and the likes.
“Nigerians will not forget in a hurry that the President Buhari administration has severally shown it’s commitments to protecting financial criminals who are willing to play ball and are known to be ardent supporters of the ruling party,” it added.
Citing several instances to collaborate its claims against the Buhari-led government, the PDP urged the President to rise to the demands of his office and act in the interest of the nation.
“It is on record that Ahmed Gambo Saleh as Registrar of the Supreme Court, was accused of stealing N2.2 billion belonging to the Supreme court and was caught red handed. Same Saleh was initially arraigned but the case was almost immediately withdrawn and he was made Secretary of the NJC.
“Unexplainably, same Ahmed Gambo Saleh is now also the secretary of the committee monitoring corruption trials.
“Nigerians have not forgotten in a hurry how the so-called corruption fighting government of President Buhari refused to allow the law take its course in the graft allegations involving the suspended Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Babachir Lawal and the Director-General of the Nigeria Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ayo Oke.
“The government seem to have also buried without shame, the expose by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu on the illegal award of contracts running to over $25 Billion by the Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) who has told the world that he has the support of President Buhari in carrying out the heist.
“Though we know that the APC is like a dead horse immune to any positive prompting, we however, will not do, but ask that the right thing be done.
“In this wise, we ask that President Buhari should for once, act like a President of a nation and not as a sectional leader whose ideas of right and wrong depends entirely on who is involved.
“We, therefore demand the immediate arrest and prosecution of Maina for his atrocities, arrest and prosecution of those who helped him return to the country and got restored to his duty post with promotion,” the party stated.
It would be recalled that Maina who was declared wanted by the EFCC for allegedly stealing about N100 billion while serving as Chairman of the defunct Presidential Taskforce on Pension Reforms, has been in a hiding until his reported appearance about four months ago.