Nigeria expands dragnet on run-away Maina

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A fresh warrant of arrest has been obtained from an Abuja Magistrate’s Court for the arrest of the run-away former Chairman of the defunct Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms, Mr. Abdulrasheed Maina.

The international police, INTERPOL, has also been involved to track and arrest Maina, whose recent reinstatement into service caused a national uproar.

Punch quoted the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Garba Shehu, who commented the development.

Shehu said investigation had been extended beyond Maina’s reinstatement and subsequent posting.

He said the investigation would even be extended to some foreign countries.

“Maina’s investigation has been expanded. This is beyond reinstatement. It has gone beyond that.

“You know that the INTERPOL has just issued an international warrant on him. A Nigerian court has also issued yet another warrant of arrest.

“All those cases involving Steve Oronsaye (former Head of the Civil Service of the Federation) that are ongoing, you know Maina is also involved. Law enforcement agencies are looking at that too.

“You are also aware that the Senate is also carrying out its own investigation on the matter.

“The matter is being investigated from all fronts. The EFCC, for example, is discovering more and more properties and its officials are sealing them. They are also looking at banks and all that.

“In fact, this investigation will also touch some foreign countries.”

Shehu said the security agencies, including the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), were making presentations to the President on the matter.

Meanwhile, Presidency says the claim that the President Buhari administration invited the wanted Abdulrasheed Maina back into country is a `freshly minted falsehood’, and should be discarded by well meaning citizens.

Shehu said in a two-paragraph statement issued in Abuja, dismissed the claim as ridiculous.

The statement read: “The claim that the Buhari administration invited the wanted Abdulrasheed Maina back into country is a freshly minted falsehood. Nobody should believe that.

“The family that made that claim simply wanted to be ridiculous. Please ignore them.’’

The presidential aide, had on Tuesday, issued a disclaimer on a group-photograph of President Buhari, Senate President Bukola Saraki and a member of the House of Representatives, Ado Doguwa, being circulated in the social media in which Doguwa, was mistaken to be Abdulrasheed Maina.

Shehu said: “There is a photograph all over the Social Media of President Muhammadu Buhari, Senate President Bukola Saraki and Hon. Ado Garba Doguwa Alhassan being mistaken to be the embattled ex-chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms, Abdulrasheed Maina.

“Doguwa is the Chief Whip of the House of Representatives, representing Doguwa/Tudun Wada Federal Constituency of Kano State.

“Doguwa represented the Speaker of the House of Representatives at the special Jummat prayers to mark the nation’s 57th year anniversary at the Presidential Villa weeks ago.

“The Speaker could not attend the event because he is a Christian. Please be guided!’’

Maina was appointed by former President Goodluck Jonathan as Chairman of the task force in 2010 to check the corruption in the country’s pension system.

In 2012, the Nigeria Police accused him of misappropriating N100 billion pension funds in connivance with others.

The Civil Service Commission reportedly dismissed him for “absconding from duty’’.

Maina was arraigned in absentia by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which declared him wanted in 2015.

Mr Wilson Uwujaren, the spokesman of the anti-graft agency in a statement recently, said Maina remained on the commission’s wanted list

NAN