Ita Ekpeyong, Lawal Daura, Yemi Osinbajo, EFCC
File Photo

Police officers attached to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Monday, October 23, 2017 stormed a mansion belonging to the wanted Abdulrasheed Maina.

Mr Maina has been on the anti-graft commission’s wanted list for about two years. He was dismissed in 2013 during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan by the Federal Civil Service Commission following a recommendation by the Office of the Head of Service.

He was accused of massive pension fraud scheme amounting to more than N165 billion.

Premium Times reports that Police officers stormed the building located at No. 10 Hamisu Musa Road, Jabi, Abuja, around 3:40 p.m. giving cover to an operative in mufti who was marking the house in red.

The building is believed to have been bought for $2 million.

Another of Mr. Maina’s houses located at No. 12, Road 11, Kado Estate is also billed for similar exercise.

The whereabouts of the embattled civil servant is yet known.

Backlash:  Buhari Caves Sacks Maina

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has caved to public pressure and ordered the immediate disengagement of EFCC wanted Abdulrasheed Maina from the civil service.

News broke last week that Mr. Maina, who oversaw the biggest pensions fraud in Nigeria’s history, the N165 billion fraud uncovered under former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration had been secretly recalled, promoted, and assigned to the Ministry of Interiors.

This new development was announced on Monday, October 23, 2017 on Twitter by Femi Adesina, a spokesperson of the president. He also revealed that the president also asked for the full report on circumstances of his recall.

Fugitive Pensions Looter, Maina Recalled and Promoted
Abdulrasheed Maina
Abdulrasheed Maina

On Sunday, February 17, 2013, a fugitive fled from Nigeria to escape arrest by the police and other security agents on his trail. Alhaji Abdulrasheed Maina was reported to have fled to Saudi Arabia, and then settled in the United Arab Emirates following an arrest warrant issued against him by the Senate, and the decision of the Presidency at the time, to discipline him for absconding from his duty post without permission.

Upon arrival in the UAE, Maina began to make frantic efforts to seek out influential people in Nigeria to intercede on his behalf.

Maina had fled the country, following a pension scam involving several billions of naira stolen from retired police officers.

In 2010, Maina had been redeployed from the then Ministry of Internal Affairs by the Goodluck Jonathan administration to sanitize a corrupt pension system.

However, scandal broke in February 2012 when Maina was accused of leading a massive pension fraud scheme amounting to more than N100 billion. Based on the allegations against him, Maina was invited by the Senate Joint Committee on Public Service and Establishment and State and Local Government Administration.

The Senate after completion of its investigation issued a Warrant of Arrest against Maina. Ignoring the panel, Maina sued the Senate and the then Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, and then went into hiding after being declared wanted by the police.

Following his disappearance, Maina was dismissed by the Head of Service for absconding from duty and attempting to evade arrest, and was charged to court.

On July 21, 2015, he was mentioned by the EFCC as a major accomplice in a 24-count charge filed against Stephen Oronsaye and two others before a Federal High Court bordering on procurement fraud and obtaining by false pretence.

While Oronsaye and the two other accused were in court and pleaded not guilty to the charge, the EFCC said Maina was still at large.

Fugitive recalled Three days ago, online news site, Premium Times, broke the news that Abdulrasheed Maina had been secretly reinstated into the civil service.

Multiple sources confirmed that Maina, who is still wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), was secretly recalled and promoted to the position of director in charge of Human Resources in the Ministry of Interior.

This new position was a step ahead of the position he held before he was appointed to chair the pension task force.

The news of the reinstatement first filtered through a congratulatory message for Mr. Maina by a group called League of Civil Society Organisations which commended the federal government for the reinstatement.

A notice on the EFCC’s website reads: The public is hereby notified that Abdulrasheed Abdullahi Maina, former Chairman of Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT), whose photograph appears above, is wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for offences bordering on Procurement Fraud and Obtaining by False Pretence.

Dark complexioned Maina is allegedly complicit in the over N 2 billion Pensions Biometric Scam in the office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation.

He remains at large, after charges were filed against his accomplices.

Despite this, the Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau, in a statement by his press secretary, Ehisienmen Osaigbovo, confirmed that Maina is now in charge of the Human Resources Department of the ministry. Dambazau however denied responsibility for Mr. Maina’s recall to the service.

The statement explained that Maina “was posted few days ago to the Ministry of Interior by the Office of the Head of Service on an Acting capacity to fill a vacancy created following the retirement of the Director heading the Human Resources Department in the Ministry”.

Dambazau’s statement said that the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation and the Federal Civil Service Commission were responsible for Maina’s recall, and that the two bodies are responsible for “issues relating to Discipline, Employment, Re-engagement, Posting, Promotion and Retirements of Federal Civil Servants.”

The statement did not say if Dambazau was aware that Maina is still a fugitive wanted by the EFCC. “It is understood that Maina’s last posting was with the Ministry of Interior, and that is probably why he was re-posted back to the Ministry,” the statement added.

Additional reports by Daily Times.

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