8th March, 2012
It was a case of the hunter turning the hunted as the Senate on Thursday ordered the arrest of Alhaji Abdulrasheed Maina, the Chairman of Pension Reform Task Team.
The arrest of Maina who had claimed in several media interviews that he had helped the country bust the syndicates funnelling out billions out of the national treasury in the guise of pension payment was ordered as a result of his failure to appear before the Senate Committee probing administration of pension funds.
In the warrant, the Senate mandates the Acting Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Abubakar to arrest Maina and produce him before the Senate Panel probing the administration of Pension Funds tomorrow by 10 a.m.
The warrant dated March 8, 2012 with reference number Nass/JCP-NPF 001, was signed by the Chairman of the Panel, Senator Aloysious Etok. Maina was alleged in a report presented by the Police Office presented before the Senate Committee today to have used N240 million to capture the bio metric data of less than 20 retirees in Diaspora while also spending N220 million for the local bio data.The report by the police which was signed by Toyin Isola, a Police Pension Staff, alleged that Maina unilaterally opened three accounts in different banks without recourse to extant financial rules and approval from the Accountant-General of the Federation and Minister of Finance.“In this regards, cash transfer in the sum of N8 billion was credited to Account 1015556733, and N10 billion to First Bank Plc Maitama branch with Account 6062040000231.“It was gathered that the account in Fidelity Bank, Central Business District Branch was domiciled in the account of the younger brother of the chairman pension reform task team named Danjuma Zubairu and the said amount was fixed since then with a monthly interest of over N100 million into the coffers of the perpetrators of the act. N3 billion was deposited in UBA up till date; no proper documentation has been effected.”
The panel also invited the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and the former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mrs. Farida Waziri. to appear before it tomorrow.Iweala was invited based on suspicion she was behind Maina continuation in office as the Chairman of the Task Team, even when the Head of Service, Professor Oladapo Afolabi, who sets up the task team ordered that he should wind down operation. Waziri was summoned by the Committee because of revelations at the hearing that some operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) were receiving bribes to frustrate the probe of pension scam during her tenure.