…Lawmakers walk him out
From ADETUTU FOLASADE-KOYI, Abuja
Chairman of the Pension Task Team (PTT), AbdulRasheed Maina, has said no warrant of arrest has been issued on him by the Senate. He told newsmen at the Senate yesterday that he was not in town when the summons to appear before the Upper Legislative Chamber’s Joint Committee on Establishments and Public Service, States and Local Governments, led by Alloysius Etuk on the missing pension funds.
His words, “I came last night from a trip and I don’t really know what is happening I don’t know what is going on. How can I refuse to come when I am not even in town?.
When I came back last night I heard that I have been asked to come to the Senate, so, that is why I came.” On the warrant of arrest issued to the Inspector-General of Police to seize him, he said: “I don’t think anybody has ordered for my arrest. I think it is just mere talking.
Nobody has ordered for my arrest. I want Nigerians to know that that is not true”. In response to questions on the alleged N195 billion pension fraud, Maina replied: “It’s not just about me; you see they are talking about all the pension offices in Nigeria from 2005 to 2009 and the task force did not exist during that time, so I don’t know where they are getting their figures because I have no business with that.
“I was not there 2005 to 2009. But I can tell you that my team has been able to recover N221 billion which we have given to the Nigerian government. Also, right now, we are trying to mop up over N30 billion again, and we have been able to cause the arrest of all these pension thieves; everybody has seen them, it is clear. “We have also been able to remove the names of 73,000 fake pensioners and fake account numbers.
We have all the records. We have been able to pay the pension arrears and gratuity for pensioners all over the country, those that have never been paid in fact, I have asked that those names be published so that the whole world will see. “Right now, the EFCC has confiscated over 211 properties through the task team.
You know when you fight corruption, it fights you back so, definitely, it’s not going to be easy for anybody fighting corruption.” The warrant of arrest, as read by the committee, dated December 13 and signed by the Senate President reads: “Pursuant to the powers conferred by Section 89 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, a warrant is hereto issued by the President of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for the arrest and compelling of attendance of Alhaji Abdulrasheed Maina of Customs, Immigration and Prisons Pension Office (CIPPO). “AbdulRasheed Maina should be produced by the Nigeria Police Force before the Joint Committee on the Investigation of Pension Funds on Wednesday, December 19, 2012 at 12.00 noon.
“This warrant is to be executed by the Nigeria Police Force. This warrant is issued under the authority of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by the hand of the President, the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”