By David Samuel –
Malam Abdulrasheed Maina, former chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Team, is a prince from Biu Emirate in Borno State. He is a first class royal family renowned for its humility, integrity and bravery. He is also an American national honoree and amongst the United State’s Black Achievers Awardees in 2001. This could be verified from Kentucky Herald of 8th April, 2001. Maina’s personal integrity and leadership asset has since been celebrated by the United States, a Nation that honours hard work to create leaders.
Malam Maina has worked in various government departments, such as, Metropolitan Council, Maiduguri, Borno State Civil Service, the Presidency (Special Duties), Ministry of Interior, (CIPPO) and Headquarters, Office of the Head of the civil Service of the Federation.
Malam Maina was appointed by President Goodluck Jonathan in June, 2010 as the Chairman of the Task Team which comprised of ICPC, DSS, EFCC, NIA, Police and other paramilitary agencies to sanitize and restructure the Pay-As-You-Go pension system. His appointment was purely on merit for being the best in transparency, accountability and integrity test as the Acting Director of the Customs, Immigration and Prisons Pension Office (CIPPO) by the rating of a Presidential Technical Committee headed by the Director General of the National Pension Commission.
The pension team under the leadership of a patriotic Nigerian Malam Maina meritoriously executed its assignments to the best interest of this country. It sanitised and restructured the pension system through the payment of many years of accrued pension arrears, introduced smart cards, traced and recovered stolen pension funds / properties worth over N1.63 trillion. It cracked down on the notorious pension cartel with over 73,000 membership.
Consequently, corruption fought back dirty leading to several assassination attempts on Malam Maina and was severely persecuted through spurious allegations against him and his Team by the 7th Senate Pension Committee. The Co-Chairmen of the Senate Committee were alleged to have demanded the sum of N2 billion Bribery from Maina Pension Team and when it could not play ball, Maina’s travails and persecution began. The 7th Senator, Chairman Committee on establishment, according to the petition against him sent to EFCC and ICPC on 30th September, 2013 by the lawyer and personal assistant to one of the pension thieves standing trial, was alleged to have demanded and collected bribery of billions of naira, farm equipment, caterpillar, estates, large plots of land in choice places in Abuja, cars etc from the pension thieves standing trial. .
Hence, Maina having been singled out for persecution, approached the Federal High Court and sued the 7th Senate and other parties, where he got a ground breaking judgment in his favour. The proceedings and findings of the said Etuk Pension Probe Committee was quashed by the ruling of 13th March, 2013 as having not met the requirements of Section 88 (1) of 1999 Constitution as amended. The Court also gave Maina perpetual Injunction against arrest as a result of the pension probe. So one begins to wonder how the EFCC would declare Maina wanted on their site. Nigerians have come to grips with the fact that the fight has become personal between Maina and Magu. It is no more an official matter.
At last Maina has been vindicated but enemies of Nigeria have refused to allow the Nigerian State to continue to tap from the experience and ingenuity of this exceptional civil servant. Nigerians will continue to celebrate this hero of the pensioners, and future Administrations would certainly not allow such a talent to be left untapped.
In 2015, Maina was approached by the Buhari Administration, when during the president’s visit to Dubai. The minister of Justice and National Security Adviser were mandated by the Presidency to sit with Maina and discuss how he could help the government in the recovery of funds.
Maina accepted to help his country, and gave out intelligence that led to the recovery of N1.3 trillion to the Buhari Government in 2017. He also promised to recover additional N3 trillion in 9 months but the enemies of ordinary Nigerians who surround the President and found in vantage positions will not allow him to do that. The only official of Government that has shown Nigerians that he has really keyed into the Buhari agenda of fighting corruption is the minister of Justice.
The former chairman of PRTT who is out of circulation, has explained that he went into hiding to save his life from pension thieves who have concluded plans to eliminate him using government apparatus. They dared him for asking the former Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, to stop multi-billion naira monthly allocations to Head of Service Office, the Police Pension office and other outfits. These funds were hitherto being shared by several high level government officials under the guise of paying pensioners.
Maina, has told the world that he is ever ready to come out and spill the beans (with documentary evidences), on the continued theft of public funds by some government agencies charged with the responsibility of fighting corruption if President Muhammadu Buhari would provide him adequate security cover.
The former pension boss recalled that his car was shot at three times and the windows shattered when he was returning from a meeting with former President Goodluck Jonathan and Okonjo-Iweala where they discussed about the funds recovered by his task force.
– Samuel is a retired civil servant resident in Lagos