Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Ex pension boss Maina faults EFCC for declaring him wanted, says he was never charged by the agency

A day after he was declared wanted by the EFCC over allegations of contract scam and stealing of N2 billion while he was in office, former Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, has released a statement faulting the antigraft agency's decision to declare him wanted.
According to the statement signed by his counsel, Esther Uzoma, the former pension boss has not been served any charges or invitation by the antigraft agency and so cannot be declared wanted
    "The EFCC should come clean on the matter of my client, Dr. Abdulrasheed Maina.
When I appeared before His Lordship, Justice Kolawole on July 21, I made it clear that the EFCC was yet to file any charge as well as serve any summons on Dr. Maina. It is trite law that you cannot say an accused is on the run when there is no charge preferred against him or any invitation extended to him. During the hearing for the bail application, counsel to the EFCC, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs SAN, wanted the court to direct me to produce Maina in court at the next sitting which I argued that there are clear procedures, which the EFCC is familiar with and should follow. Naturally, the court agreed with my submission on the position of law. Therefore, it is misleading for the EFCC in its statement of Monday to mislead the public that there exists an order for Maina to be produced in court when there is no invitation extended to him talk-less of a charge preferred against him by the commission,” she said. EFCC had on Monday November 2nd, declared Maina wanted for his alleged role in the fraudulent biometric contracts in which himself and former Head of Service, Steve Oronsaye, and two others were accused of stealing over N2billion of pension funds. A statement by the antigraft agency states that Maina was on July 21, 2015 charged alongside Messrs. 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 by false pretense. “While Oronsaye and two others were in court and pleaded not guilty to the charge, Maina had been at large,” the statement said

EFCC went on to state that when the court heard the bail applications of the accused persons, Maina through his counsel, Esther Uzoma, told the court that he was not at large, and said that the EFCC had never invited him. EFCC says despite many invitations, Maina had refused to honor any and so was declared wanted on Monday.

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