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Maina Alleges N60b Pension Fund Fraud

By The Citizen
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Former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT), Abdulrasheed Maina, has alleged that officers from the Office of the Head of Service misappropriated N60b pension funds on yearly basis before the inauguration of his task force in June 2010.

Maina, in a 44-page petition, alleged that none of the 'criminals' is facing prosecution; they are rather protected and treated 'tender-heartedly'.

The petition was partly addressed to the Senate President, David Mark, in reaction to the senate committee report, which indicted him (Maina) of fraud, and recommended the disbandment of the Pension Reform Task Team.

Maina said that some of the cash and property, allegedly obtained by corrupt officers through the Pension Funds from the Head of Service, have been seized by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

'The EFCC, for example, has investigated and charged to court about 40 persons and companies for the role they played in siphoning pension funds. Besides, the agency has helped to recover nearly N50b in cash and assets stolen by corrupt civil servants,' Maina said.

On his failure or refusal to appear before the Senate, the embattled Maina, who is currently on the wanted list of the Police, said he had earlier appeared before the Senate Committee on March 9, 2012, where he was drilled for 12 hours (9am to 9pm). He added that he was treated with hostility during the session.

While accusing the Committee of protecting pension thieves, Maina said it curiously has a good rapport with the same persons the Task Team exposed as having stolen billions of naira from the Pension Funds.

'Apart from hosting one of them in his office, the Committee Chairman queried Professor Afolabi, the Head of Service, for suspending one of the Pension thieves when the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) started investigating him.'

In a 31-point defence, addressed to the Senate President, Maina refuted all allegations leveled against him in the Senate report. He denied having 39 policemen attached to him. He also denied misappropriation of funds, saying that neither he nor the Task Force had access to funds.

He said that for the number of years the Task Team operated, no budget was appropriated to it and that all payments for operations were approved by the Head of Service. Guardian