Ex-Chairman of Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms, Alhaji Abdulrasheed Maina, is suffering persecution for exposing pension thieves in high places, despite recovering N1.3 trillion from looters for Buhari administration, the family has said.
According to Maina’s family, their son is being persecuted to protect the ‘real pension thieves’, which according to them are in high places including National Assembly, ministries and agencies.
The family, in a statement issued Tuesday evening and signed by its spokesman, Usman Abdullahi, said with the facts and information in possession of their son, persecuting him is more like protecting the real pension thieves in the country. The family said, anti graft agencies should rather be working with Maina to secure convictions of the real pensions looters, both those under prosecution and those yet to be identified and brought to book.
According to the statement, “It has become necessary to draw the attention of the Nigerian public towards the unfortunate trend of persecution against Abdulrasheed Maina, the former Pensions funds chief as this could kill the morale of those intending to give required information to support fight against corruption in the country.
“Based on available records, Maina is known to have assisted the President Muhammad Buhari’s administration in recovering N1.3 trillion from looters for which a promised 5% is yet to be paid to him. Maina alone under the DSS office recovered the funds, what the entire workforce of ICPC and EFCC cannot boast of since their inauguration as anti-corruption agencies in 2000 and 2002 respectively.
“Maina has secured five court judgements in his favour that are yet to be enforced even against the EFCC who have been restricted from harassing him. It was evident that while Maina served as Customs, Immigration and Prisons Office, CIPPO boss, it was the best run pension office at that time owing to the software he developed at no cost to government.
“This software streamlined the processes which the then minister of interior used to administer that office with the lowest budget and the highest number of pensioners.
“In 2012 while briefing the National Economic Council, Maina revealed that pensioners were denied payment in Nigeria not because there were no adequate funds budgeted for them, but due to systemic large-scale corrupt practices shrouded in secrecy and conspiracy of a sinister pension mafia that include Senators, Members of House of Reps, Heads of Services some Permanent Secretaries, Directors and Administrators.
“A Pension Reform Task Team was inaugurated by President Jonathan under the leadership of Maina with senior level leadership from ICPC, Immigration, EFCC, Police, NIA, DSS, Prisons, Customs, Accountant General’s office, Attorney General’s office, Public Complaint Commission and Head of Service’s office. They were tasked with the duty of reforming the pension administration system.
“The agencies represented in Maina’s team exclusively executed and handled recoveries and not Maina as an individual but he supplied intelligence and technical knowhow. All members of the Task Team are alive but non has been removed from his office and non is being persecuted or victimised with regards pension funds.
“It is clear that Maina’s sin is that he insisted on blocking the leakage that led to the monthly stealing of N6 billion from the Police pension office and N4.725bn from the office of the Head of Service respectively.
“Reflecting on the performances of Maina it is necessary without any mince of words to say that Maina deserves better treatment as a compatriot who has sacrificed his life for the progress and development of the country, Maina deserves not to be condemned or persecuted but commended and rewarded,” the family said.