THE "PENSIONMAINA" SCAM: LOOK NO FURTHER
When investigations into the issue of the Pension Scam began, many Nigerians know that it was going to be another fake show of rubbish and an entertainment of gibbers, just as it has it has always been.
The Senate On December 13, 2012, issued a warrant of arrest directing Mohammed Abubakar, inspector General of Police, to produce Abdulrasheed Maina of the Customs, Immigration and Prisons Pension Office (CIPPO) before it. This action was necessitated by the fact that Maina had refused to show up when invited by the Senate to make clarification on its findings. Rather than honour the Senate invitation, Maina elected to be gallivanting all over the country. He was said to be cruising about in bullet-proof automobiles with a retinue of security details.
Unfortunately, it wasn't until after close to two months that the police considered it necessary to act on the arrest warrant, and declared Maina wanted. During this two month period, Maina was walking about with security details!
Mohammed Abubakar had the impetus to go before the senate and say that the Police is "handicapped by the delay in the signing of the 2013 budget to be able to place a handsome reward for whoever apprehends Mr Maina." He told law makers that he "withdrew the police officers attached to Mr Maina immediately the Senate issued the warrant of arrest and since that time, Mr Maina absconded and has not been seen."
Imagine the sort of explanation coming from the Police Chief! Why place a bounty on Maina at all in the first place? How did it get to that extent? Why did it take the police close to two months before acting on the arrest warrant issued?
Maina had security details with him as at the time the order for his arrest was issued. But rather than directing these police officers to act on the Warrant, the Police Chief thought it best to "withdraw" them! Is there a protocol, or a law preventing the security details from acting on the warrant and arresting him?
These are questions begging to be answered, and only The Police Chief can answer it, albeit unsactisfactorily; the Police Chief went to the lawmakers talking about being "handicapped" by the delay in the signing of the 2013 budget as a reason for not being able to arrest a man spending pensioners' money with impunity. See the kind of explanation Nigerians should expect. What has the budget got to do with arresting a criminal?
Should we still continue to ask who is behind Maina's impunity? Should we still ask who is drumming for him? The Police chief is showing again and again that his hands are not clean concerning this issue. And unfortunately, the Senate is not seeing this. If this happens in a society where real democracy is practised, Mr. Abubakar would have been under intense scrutiny and pressure to resign by now.
It is high time we started doing what is right. All citizens are equal before the law. And the Senate president agrees: “nobody in this country is bigger than our democracy.” Not even the Police Chief. Our fathers and mothers deserve justice. This is the pension they've worked hard for over the years, only for them to be denied by the corrupt impunity of a thief, and the repulsive ineptitude of a Police Chief. That is absolutely not fair.
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