It becomes a farcical spectacle, this display of an utter lack of integrity by the various economic and media ‘authorities’ who have bartered their sincerity for the sake of concealing their indiscretions. The hounding of Abdulrasheed Maina by the EFFC and co. has taken up an ignorable amount of media space, and it only seems fair that the opposing side of the story be relayed. Nigerians deserve to have the truth about this unfortunate saga uncovered. Maina deserves to have his maliciously tainted name vindicated
The background to this story, although familiar to members of the public by now, is well worth reiterating, if only to clarify certain factual errors surrounding this case. In June, 2010, under the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan, Maina, a civilian, was appointed head of a joint task force comprising of agents from various bodies, including the EFCC. The aim of this force was to carry out restructuring and investigations into the stories surrounding pension scams. In fact, Maina distinguished himself in this post through his dedication and aptitude. By July 2011, his investigations had shaken up the pension sector. Several accounts, which had been used to siphon money from the pension fund, were uncovered. He assisted the government in recovering over 1.3 trillion naira worth of asset and cash on one hand and another N282 billion cash which the former Minister of Finance, Okonjo Iweala lodged at the CBN. This was welcome news, considering the fact that 98% of pensioners have been denied their benefits for so many years.
Since the success of his investigation, Maina has faced a profound backlash. An ‘investigative panel’ was launched against him as he now faced quite untrue allegations of fraud.
He has remained in Dubai working as an analyst on part-time until the change of administration with the election of President Muhammadu Buhari. He was reinstated by the present government via a Federal High Court Order of April, 2013 which was implemented three months ago, in an apparent vindication and compensation for his unfair dismissal. Indeed, the government seems to have realized the value of his service, when Maina gave intelligence that led to the recovery of N1.3 trillion naira in 2017. This, in return, triggered once again harassment from security agencies and assassination threat was again placed upon his life and family despite numerous efforts to get protections from relevant authority proved abortive.
There are few things more morally repulsive than the embezzlement of the hard-earned pensions of a work-force who have already suffered enough. In a nation, which in the 21st century, still lacks a welfare system, and so frequently, fails to show regard for its citizens (need we go into the details of the frankly Kafkaesque frustration of the average Nigerian career), it is clear where these criminals stand – with themselves and against anyone who would dare stand against them.
Let us suspend the rhetoric – available for scrutiny are a set of court documents which not only serve as evidence of Maina’s innocence, but also should put an end to any further slander against his name. I quote for the sake of full disclosure:
SUIT NO: FHC/ABJ/CS/65/13 BETWEEN ABDULRASHEED MAINA VS. THE SENATE OF THE FEDERAL REPUBBLIC OF NIGERIA & 8 ORS
In the suit FHC/ABJ/CS/65/13 between Abdulrasheed Maina Vs. The Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria & 8 ors, the applicant sought among others the following reliefs-:
An order setting aside the warrant of arrest issued by the 6th respondent against the applicant on the 2nd of February 2013
Upon a careful perusal, the court relying on the provisions of sections 40(1) and (2) and order 2 rule 1 of the FREPR 2009 held that every citizens has unfettered right to approach the courts for the enforcement of his fundamental rights whenever he feels these are being violated, or threatened.
The applicant’s main grouse in the suit was the numerous invitations sent by the senate committees on the applicant as the chairman Pension Reform Task Team, resulting in the issuance of an arrest warrant against the applicant.
The court came to the conclusion that the condition precedent for the issuance of an arrest warrant to compel attendance of a person or corporation before the National Assembly are the resolution of the house or senate and the publication of such resolution of such resolution in the journal or official gazette the Government of the federation and proceeded to hold further that failure of the respondents to exhibit evidence showing these documents meant that the condition precedent was lacking and as such the issuance of the arrest warrant is unlawful.
The court consequently issued an order of perpetual injunction restraining the Senate from arresting the applicant on account of the warrant of arrest being invalid and set aside. It can validly be concluded therefore that Maina has no arrest warrant from the senate against him.
SUIT NO: CV/1776/14 BETWEEN ABDULRASHEED MAINA VS. COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF NIGERIA IMMIGRATION SERVICE AND ANO
In another Suit No: CV/1776/14 between Abdulrasheed Maina vs. Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration Service and Ano; the applicant commenced an action for the enforcement of his fundamental human rights against his interception and prevention from overseas travels by the men of the Nigeria Immigration Service on the basis of his being placed on the “No Fly List”
The high court of the federal capital territory as per hon justice Adeniyi held -:
The 1st respondent is hereby further restrained whether by himself, his officers, agents, privies or howsoever called or described from further acting on the said illegal no fly list as it concerns the applicant; and from further restricting or impeding the enjoyment of his fundamental rights to freedom of movement without legal justification. By this judgment, whatever impediments against the Applicant from proceeding on oversea travels is removed and quashed.
SUIT NO M/62/16 ABDULRASHEED MAINA V. EFCC AND ANO
In suit no M/62/16 between Abdulrasheed Maina V. Efcc and Ano; before the Chief magistrate court of the Federal Capital Territory, the applicant approached the Court seeking for an Order setting aside the arrest warrant earlier issued against him, pursuant to an application by the EFCC.
The court upon a careful consideration, on the 6th of May 2016 granted the application brought on behalf of the Applicant and ordered the setting aside the warrant of arrest issued against the applicant, same having been issued without jurisdiction. This order like the previous ones considered above has not been challenged on appeal and subsists.
The perversion of Maina’s rights as a private citizen and as a civil servant who has devoted himself to the noble cause of weeding out corruption and fighting for the common man is a tragedy. It must not be permitted any further.
Onyilo, Adibe & Co., Legal Practitioners.
Via: Opinion Nigeria
Source: Oladele Olummy