Alleged N2b Fraud: DSS Hands Over Maina To EFCC

Barely three days after his arrest, the Department of State Security Services(DSS) has handed over a former Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team, Mr. Abdul-Rasheed Maina to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC).

Maina, who was looking pensive, was brought to the anti-graft agency at about 5.30pm.

As at press time, the suspect was being quizzed over the alleged N2billion biometrics contract.

It was also learnt that Maina was being interrogated over choice assets in Kado Estate in Abuja, some properties in Kaduna and a large farm in Keffi.

A top source, who spoke in confidence, said: “Maina, who we had earlier declared wanted, was brought to EFCC by the DSS a few hours ago.

“The security agency handed him over after the completion of its profiling on him.

“You know Maina has been hiding in Dubai, UAE and some neighbouring countries and there is need to de-brief him on certain security challenges associated with him.

“For instance, intelligence report indicated that Maina was asked how he has always succeeded in sneaking in and out of the country and his connection with a safe house in Abuja.

“But as soon as he was handed over to EFCC, detectives isolated issues for him on the N2billion biometrics contact. He was also asked to make statement on the funding of the defunct the Pension Reform Task Team.

“He has also been asked to explain how he came about choice assets in Abuja and Kaduna.

“The investigation might also be extended to his activities as a former director in Customs, Immigration and Prisons Office (CIPPO) which he superintended with huge cash flow.”

Responding to a question, the EFCC source said: “He will soon be arraigned in court because we have already preferred charges against him.

“As far back as July 21, 2015, Maina was already arraigned before a Federal High Court on a 24-count charge with a former Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mr. Steve Oronsaye, Osarenkhoe Afe and Fredrick Hamilton Global Services Limited.

“He is expected to face trial for charges bordering on procurement fraud and obtaining by false pretence.

“What detectives are doing now is to obtain a statement from him on some findings about him before the court proceedings.”

Asked of his status, the source added: “Maina was in pensive mood, he never expected that the law will catch up with him.”

Maina was picked up by DSS operatives at a hotel in Abuja.

The EFCC had in 2017, declared Maina wanted, following his refusal to honour the commission’s invitations.

But in his bid to evade the long arm of the law, Maina, on September 5, 2018, in a suit no: FHC/ABJ/CS/957/2918, asked the court to decide whether the Commission can lawfully exercise powers of declaring him wanted, either on its official website or any other media platform, or “harass him.”

But Justice Folasade Giwa Ogunbanjo of the Federal High Court restrained the anti-graft commission from declaring Maina wanted.

She also gave an order of perpetual injunction, restraining the EFCC and its affiliates or related bodies from further declaring Maina wanted in relation to the issue of the pension scam.

The EFCC, however, said the judgment must not be allowed to stand and filed an appeal at the Court of Appeal.

Credit: The Nation

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