From Fred Itua, Abuja
Former chairman of the Presidential Task Team on Pension Reforms, Abdulrasheed Maina, who has been reportedly re-absorbed into the civil service, maybe arrested soon, sources at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), have told Sunday Sun.
An online newspaper, Premium Times, reported yesterday that Maina, who has been a fugitive since he was declared wanted by the EFCC and the Nigeria Police Force in 2013, had been readmitted into the Federal Civil Service, despite an ongoing court case instituted against him by the anti-graft agency.
According to reports, “the news of the reinstatement first filtered through a congratulatory message for Mr. Maina by a group called League of Civil Society Organisations which commended the federal government for the reinstatement.”
But speaking to Sunday Sun yesterday on the issue, sources at the EFCC, confirmed that Maina has already resumed, but declined to speak further on his reinstatement.
Instead, one of the sources said the EFCC would intensify efforts to ensure that the pending case is pursued to a logical conclusion. The source further said the anti-graft agency might soon launch a manhunt for Maina, who he said had a case to answer.
“Yes, we have heard about the fact that he (Maina) is back and this time as a director. We have also confirmed this to be true. We will not join issues with anyone, but we will professionally ensure that the right thing is done.
“Maina is still a fugitive and has a case to answer. In the coming days, we will decide on our next line of action. But one thing is sure; he will not get away. We will pursue the ongoing case in court and if need be, we will declare him wanted. That is all I can tell you for now,” the source said.
Sunday Sun was able to track a family member of Maina who confirmed that the embattled Borno born civil servant has resumed duties. He did not express any shock, instead, insisted that he was innocent until proven guilty.
In 2012, Maina was accused of leading a massive pension fraud scheme amounting to more than N100 billion.
Recall that he was drafted by former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration in 2010 to sanitise what it described as a corrupt pension system.
Based on the allegation of corruption, Maina was invited by the Senate Joint Committee on Public Service, Establishment and State and Local Government Administration.
The Senate upon the completion of its investigation issued a warrant of arrest against Maina. Snubbing the panel, he sued the Senate and the then Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar. Thereafter, he went into hiding after being declared wanted by the police.
Maina was subsequently dismissed by the Head of Service for allegedly absconding from duty and attempting to evade arrest and charged to court.
Maina was on July 21, 2015 charged by the EFCC alongside Stephen Oronsaye and two others before a Federal High Court on a 24-count charge bordering on procurement fraud and obtaining by false pretence.
While Mr. Oronsaye and the two other accused were in court and pleaded not guilty to the charge, Maina was at large.