Inside Nigeria

N2bn Pension scam: 4 Years after, DSS arrests Maina as he sneaks into Abuja

…DSS may hand him over to EFCC for prosecution

Four years after he bolted from the country ostensibly to escape the long hands of the law, former Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team, Mr. AbdulRasheed Maina, was arrested, Monday night, in Abuja.

The fugitive ex-chairman was nabbed by operatives of the Department of State Services, DSS, at an Abuja hotel where he holed up after he sneaked into the country from Dubai, United Arab Emirates where he is based.

The Nation newspaper which broke the story quoted sources who hinted that the DSS might hand him over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for trial over a controversial N2billion biometrics contract.

Maina’s arrest was a result of inter-agency collaboration/intelligence which alerted that the fugitive had sneaked into the country.

whExplaining how he was arrested, they said the DSS acted on intelligence alert which led to Maina’s arrest.

“He was trailed to an Abuja hotel where he was arrested after operatives outwitted those who tried to ferry him away in a bullet-proof vehicle,” the paper reported.

“He is currently being quizzed. He is likely to be handed over to the EFCC for trial. He has a pending case since 2015.”

Maina was, on July 21, 2015, charged alongside Oronsaye, Osarenkhoe Afe and Fredrick Hamilton Global Services Limited before a Federal High Court on a 24-count charge bordering on procurement fraud and obtaining money by false pretense.

After Maina was busted and he ran away, some of his godfathers tried to smuggle him into the country, attempted to reinstate him to office, and even give him underserved promotion. But like the original scam itself, the whole thing exploded on their faces.

The EFCC in 2017, declared Maina wanted, following his refusal to honour the commission’s invitations.

But in his bid to evade the long arm of the law, The Nation recalled, Maina, on September 5, 2018, in a suit no: FHC/ABJ/CS/957/2918, asked the court to decide whether the Commission can lawfully exercise powers of declaring him wanted, either on its official website or any other media platform, or “harass him.”

Justice Folasade Giwa Ogunbanjo of the Federal High Court restrained the anti- graft commission from declaring Maina wanted.

She also gave an order of perpetual injunction, restraining the EFCC and its affiliates or related bodies from further declaring Maina wanted in relation to the issue of the pension scam.

The EFCC said the judgment must not be allowed to stand and filed an appeal at the Court of Appeal.

Spokesman of the DSS, Dr. Peter Afunaya, was yet to issue an official statement on Maina’s arrest by the department.


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