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N17B Pension fraud: How Buhari shunned Maina in Dubai

…What suspect told AGF, NSA about pension syndicate and his expertise

…What suspect told AGF, NSA about pension syndicate and his expertise

…My office has already recovered N260m from firm linked to ex-pension boss  — Malami

…Jonathan didn’t receive payments from pension  fund – Ex-President’s aide

Soni Daniel, Northern Region Editor

Fresh facts emerged, yesterday, that wanted ex-Presidential Pension Reform Task Team Chairman, Alhaji Abdulrasheed Maina, had sought audience with President Muhammadu Buhari in Dubai, United Arab Emirate, in January last year, in order to appeal for his resinstatement into the civil service, but was shunned by Mr. President.

Buhari & Maina

Maina, who had been hiding in Dubai since 2013, turned to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, who was part of the presidential visit to the Middle East, to explain his predicament and seek his support in being recalled but was initially rebuffed.

However, due to mounting pressure from Maina, Malami sought and got security clearance from the Director of the Department of State Service to meet with Maina in the presence of the National Security Adviser.

Sunday  Vanguard learnt that through the meeting, Maina was able to convince Malami and other government officials that he had a dossier on top government functionaries, who had been stealing at least N3.3 billion monthly by adding 33,000 ghost pensioners to the payroll.

Malami confirmed in a mail to  Sunday  Vanguard that he reluctantly met with Malami in the presence of the NSA, Brigadier-General Babagana Monguno (rtd), as a witness, since he did not have any interest in the matter and had no prior relationship with Maina.

This represents part of what the AGF presented to the Senator Emmanuel Paulker-led Senate Committee on Establishment and Public Service, currently probing his role in the recall and resinstatement of Maina, which has sparked public outrage and forced Buhari to order his second sack.

Malami, in a document obtained by  Sunday  Vanguard last night, said: “When Maina met with us, he narrated his ordeals, exploits, expertise, experience and mastery of act of asset tracking and recovery as well as his outstanding performance at the PTT where he claimed to have assisted the past administration recover and/or block financial leakages running into billions of naira, and also he assured us that he would leverage on his past experiences and track records to assist the FGN trace, track and recover funds as well as block bureaucratic systems he technically referred to as ‘budget lifting’, ‘splurging’ and ‘financial engineering’ with a view to cutting down the costs of running government.

He requested for review of his cases pending in court and in return offered useful information on the workings of the pension syndicate which I found very useful in preparing new cases against the pension syndicate and consolidating on the existing ones.

“Upon review of the correspondences and the afore-referenced court orders, the OHAGF formed an opinion founded on the interest of justice and public interest and subsequently wrote the FCSC for an update on the status of Mr. Maina’s employment vide a letter dated 19thJanuary, 2017.

“Upon community review of the various documents, letters and numerous orders of Courts granted in favour of Mr. Maina in (Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/65/13;  Suit No: M/62/16 and Suit No: CV/1776/14, all of which remain unappealled, the OHAGF, guided by public interest and conscience, considered the need to call for a review of the three decided but unappealled civil suits, one of which had attracted debt burden to the FGN, specifically  Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/65/13  and the then pending Suit No: NICN/ABJ/68/02013 – Abdulrasheed Maina Vs. The Head of the Federal Civil Service of the Federation, Federal Civil Service Commission, Ministry of Interior and the Attorney General of the Federation which had the propensity to attract to the FGN huge damages of N2.5 billion being the claim of the applicant, if court eventually finds in his favour).

“I was also motivated by the extended support provided by Maina, which will assist me in preparing charges against the members of the syndicate and recovering the proceeds of recoveries in addition to unravelling the compromises in the pending pension.

“This was so because the HAGF never attempted and did not STOP, BAR, INFLUENCE or PREVENT the FCSC or any other authority from independently exercising its discretion/powers in accordance with its laid down rules which discretion/powers include powers to  review or reverse its decision on appointment or discipline.

Letters to Federal Civil Service Commission sent in good faith

“The letters from the OHAGF to the FCSC were in good faith and addressed to the relevant authority for its objective consideration and necessary action solely in the interest of justice and public interest. The said authorities were MERELY advised to take necessary steps at its own terms as it may deem fit towards giving effect to the unappealled court orders voiding and quashing a warrant of arrest which laid a fertile foundation for issuance of query and eventual dismissal of the public officer.

“The OHAGF did not attempt, never attempted or played any role and did not, in any way, PARTAKE, PARTICIPATE, CONSTITUTE or INFLUENCE in the convening, composition, deliberation, recommendation, decision and action of the FCSC, OHCSF and the Senior Staff Committee (SSC) of the Ministry of Interior or any other authority that reviewed the case of the Public Officer and found him worthy of reinstatement in line with their respective established rules, processes and procedures.

My letter to FCSC not immunity for Maina

“A fundamental point of interest arising from the advice of the OHAGF driven from factual and documentary evidence on the reinstatement of Maina is that it is not a shield for the office or an immunity from prosecution as the OHAGF owes it a public duty to render requisite advice whenever the interest of justice and public interest so dictate.

My office recovered N260 m from firm linked to Maina for FG

“To demonstrate that my action was as a product of public interest,  the office of the Attorney General of the Federation has had course to issue a letter of instruction dated 12 October 2016, in favour of Merss M.E Sherrif & Co. for recovery of N260m against AMD Global Resources Ltd which by the investigation is linked to Maina and the amount is recovered and the lawyers were paid their recovery fees”.

Jonathan didn’t receive payments from Pension  Fund – Ex-President’s aide

Meanwhile, Mr. Ikechukwu Eze,  Media adviser to the former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, has dissociated his principal from allegations which accused an ‘Ex-President’ of being paid N5 billion monthly from the Pension Fund.

He described such claims as ungodly. The claim credited to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, as published by a national daily, alleged that the chief legal officer to the federation was equally alleged to have told a Senate ad-hoc committee that an “Ex-President was taking N5 billion monthly from the Pension Fund.”

In debunking the claim, Eze dismissed it as “a blatant lie hurriedly cooked up to divert the attention of the general public from the raging ‘Mainagate’ and other embarrassing scandals.”

In a statement issued yesterday ex-President Jonathan’s spokesman said:  “We will simply challenge the Senate Committee to demand from those who fabricated the spurious claims that N5 billion was collected monthly from the Pension Fund by ‘an Ex-President’ to give more details and produce evidence of how these transactions were made.

They should be able to establish whether the monthly payment of N5 billion to ‘an ex-President’ was made by cash or through bank transfers, in which case they should name the banks involved. We advise that this matter should not be allowed to go the way of similar ones that have been swept under the carpet.

“Nigerians have not forgotten that the same forces initially claimed that it was Jonathan’s men that quietly brought back Maina from exile and reinstated him in office under the Buhari administration.

“Again, we restate our position that we very much doubt if AGF Malami really said what was reported  because if he did, he would be placing his integrity and that of his office in a difficult position”.


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