The Presidency yesterday said the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lacked the moral right to criticise President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration over the botched reinstatement of Abdulrasheed Maina.
Presidential spokesman Garba Shehu described Maina as one of the monsters created by the former PDP government which are still active long after the party was defeated in the 2015 election.
He said: “Over and over again, the President Buhari government has pointed out that the administration’s greatest problem is the mess left behind by the previous government. Maina is just one more example
“Top officials in the PDP government, from sectoral heads, to those charged with responsibility for law and order received some of these billions of naira from Maina.
“We have all the transaction records and these are matters that the EFCC has been pursuing to ensure that they all have their day in court.”
Shehu alleged that some influential officials loyal to the previous government might have been the invisible hands in the return of Maina to the public service, despite being on the EFCC’s wanted list.
He assured Nigerians that President Buhari was determined to get to the bottom of the impunity that led to Maina’s reinstatement.
“Everything will be uncovered in due course
“This just goes to show us the scale of corruption that this government is fighting. And, as we can all see, corruption keeps fighting back viciously.” Shehu added.
The PDP said on Monday that it was “not too shocked at the steps taken by the administration of the All Progressives Congress in reinstating a supposed criminal and fugitive, Abdulrasheed Maina to office instead of getting him arrested.”
Barely 24 hours after his houses were sealed off by EFCC operatives in Kaduna, former Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms Chairman Maina’s family has said he is being persecuted by elements in President Buhari’s administration.
The family did not name such people.
They said Maina’s “persecutions” was the handiwork of a cabal in government, which is witch-hunting him because he did not allow them steal pension fund.
The Maina family threatened that he would soon open a can of worms, which they said are capable of nailing the cabal.
The Maina family said he is not a fraudster but someone who worked diligently to save pensioners from thieves, adding that President Muhammadu Buhari was misinformed to have sacked him.
The family lamented that the “ongoing persecution” by a government that preaches the rule of law is bad, but noted that Maina has documents and facts that would vindicate him and show the true intention of his persecutors.
Addressing reporters yesterday in Kaduna, family spokesman Malam Aliyu Maina, who was flanked by Salihu Maina and Ladan Abdullahi, said that the marking of the houses they inherited from their father in Kaduna by the EFCC was wrong. They threatened a legal action to protect their fundamental rights.
They said that Maina left Nigeria following threats to his life, but President Buhari invited him to come and help his administration.
Aliyu Maina said: “It is on record that Abdulrasheed Maina’s reform put a stop to the fraudulent withdrawals of huge sums from both the Nigerian Pension Board, the Nigerian Police Pension Board etc. Perhaps it is this noble effort that made him enviable to the present administration when they came into power to convince him to come back and assist in its “Change” agenda.”
“Abdulrasheed was in fact invited by this administration and he was promised security to come and clean up the mess and generate more revenue to the government by blocking leakages.”
“He succumbed to the present administration and came back to Nigeria. He has been working with the DSS for quite some time and he was given necessary security.
“There is a letter from the attorney-general of the federation where he gave his own legal opinion regarding the court verdict which was submitted to the Civil Service Commission and the Head of Service respectively. So, one wonders why all the agencies and various individuals responsible for his return are now denying,” he said.
He, however, said that “you must have noticed the recent attempt by some cabal to ridicule and tarnish the image of the Maina family in the media. Where our brother, Abdulrasheed Maina has been blackmailed as a fraudster.
“The cabals have gone to the extent of marking our house in red paints with an inscription of EFCC under investigation. The EFCC is wrong in their action because Abdulrasheed inherited so many properties from his late father in Kaduna and Abuja, some of them were built before he was born so how could he have acquired them fraudulently.
“The entire family of Abdullahi Maina is categorically stating that our son is not in anyway a fraudster, rather he is a messiah who brought reforms into Nigerian Pension Scheme, whose effort saw the disappearance of pensioners roaming the streets of Abuja and other state capital in Nigeria”.
According to the family, the actions may have been targeted at not Maina but high above, “we are aware that all this act of calumny is not targeted against Abdulrasheed Maina alone but against the President of Federal Republic of Nigeria and the office of the Attorney General. We have contacted our lawyers Messr Mamma Nasir & Co and instructed them to act appropriately.
“We equally know that Abdulrasheed Maina is in possession of many facts that is against the cabal and interesting to the Nigerian populace, which he will disclose very soon,” the family noted.
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