*threatens legal action against media houses for character assassination
By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
It has been alleged that those who looted pension funds in their bid for cover up, are desperately seeking every possible means of eliminating the defunct Pension Reform Task Force Mr. Abdurasheed Maina.
This was alleged in a statement signed by his Media Adviser, Abdullahi Usman, made available to newsmen on Wednesday.
“The dream of those that looted pension funds is to do away with Mr. Maina by all means necessary including but not limited to using all available plots like; Assasination, illegal arrest, threat of arrest, intimidation and what not,” it stated.
The statement titled: ‘Re-N2.1b pension fraud: Our case against Maina, by AGF, EFCC’ was in reaction to publications on some national dailies.
“Our attention has been drawn to a publication by some of the National dailies including The Nation Newspaper, with the above headline. Upon Reading through the lines, it became very clear that the piece was simply intended to blackmail the Chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Force Mr. Abdurasheed Maina using deliberately concocted lies and insensitive kangaroo journalism, a style which the papers concerned adopted.
“The paper tried to drag The Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of justice into Maina/EFCC issues without mentioning the fact that Abdulrasheed Maina has never had any such issue with the Attorney General and Hon Minister of Justice. The Maina/EFCC fued is nothing new, and all Nigerians now know that Mainas misunderstanding with the EFCC is politically motivated.
“The claim that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC is searching for Maina remains unsubstantiated, because the same EFCC in a sworn affidavit at the Kaduna Federal High Court said that they never said Maina was wanted by them, rather what exists is only a personal intent by the EFCC Chairman, to clampdown on an opponent tribesman using the opportunity of public office,” the statement said.
It explained that for the avoidance of doubt, Mr. Abdulrasheed Maina has no case to answer with the Attorney General of the federation, nor does he have any case to answer with any organ of this Administration.
“Maina has in fact been working with the Minister of Justice and other Security Agencies in recovering looted funds for the Buhari Administration. Why is it then, that some of the compromised Media houses still go on tarnishing Mr. Mainas image?” It queried.
Maina’s media team said that it was also aware of sinister moves to paint him in bad light.
“We are not unaware of the paid plot to assassinate Maina’s character. Indeed we still recall a meeting held with known pension thieves who are currently facing prosecution, including some top members of the Nigerian Union of Pensioners with some Nigerian Editors at a very popular Chinese restaurant in Maitama Abuja, where some of the editors including one from the Nation Newspaper, were paid to not only blackmail Mr. Abdulrasheed Maina but to also put pressure on the government to expel him.
“This is a man who recovered over N282billion within 11 months of his Pension Task Force Reform operation (Jan-Nov 2011). Maina also recovered N1.3 trillion from an undisclosed source in January 2017 for this current government.
“The N1.3trillion Recovery took place during this Administration which was as a result of the meeting that took place during the visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to Dubai, UAE, where Mainas support was solicited in solving the issue of funds Recovery problems facing the country,” the statement pointed out.
It argued that going by these revelations, Maina deserves commendation not condemnation.