Why Maina shunned Senate on pension probe —Activists
March 12, 2013 by Friday Olokor, Abuja
Nigerians have criticised the Presidency for not dealing decisively with the former Chairman, Pension Reforms Task Team, Alhaji Abdulrasheed Maina, who they said, held the government to ransom.
Executive Secretary of Anti-Corruption Network, Dino Melaye; a United States-based activist, Smart Ajaja, and the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders Chairman, Debo Adeniran, who spoke to our correspondent, said Maina enjoyed the protection of the Presidency because the latter allegedly collaborated in the crime.
Melaye said, “I will say Maina is above the law because he was living in this country and staying in Abuja when the Senate demanded his arrest.
“I want to assure you that the arrogance of Maina is as a result of the support that he enjoys from the powers that be. I want to believe that there is a collaboration between the Presidency and Maina. I want to believe that Maina must have stolen on behalf of many people and I want to believe that many hands are involved.”
The civil rights activist also berated the Presidency’s defence using civil service procedure for sacking as excuse.
He said, “That is a cock and bull story. Was there no procedure when they sacked the DG of BPE? The President has enormous powers to fire a civil servant, who is on recommendation for dismissal. What is the excuse of Mr. President? A Minister can fire a civil servant; so why will the Minister say that there are procedures to fire a civil servant?.”
Ajaja said the Presidency had made itself an executive clearing house for official corruption and white-collar crimes.
He said, “The official corruption in Nigeria is hatched by a criminal cartel in government with a powerful global network of fronts and aided by a roundly corrupt judiciary that has fraudsters sitting on the benches, granting frivolous injunctions and delivering ridiculous judgments in favour of the governors, who appointed them, setting aside facts, morals and strong public opinion.
“All the cartel operators with whom politicians and corrupt ex-governors robbed the state blind are the ones parading themselves in Abuja and in various political positions projecting some convicted felons as leaders, who must anoint them for political power.
“It is so sad that our people have become so mentally lazy that they can no longer think constructively to the point of driving a message to this corrupt cabal that they have had enough of them.
Adeniran, said the President was “too weak” to fight the endemic corruption ravaging the country.
He said, “Both politicians and civil servants steal public funds with impunity. It is a clear case that Maina enjoys presidential shield if not, he should be languishing in the EFCC net now.
“It is a shameful thing that the Presidency celebrates rots with so much impunity. The inclusion of Maina in President Jonathan’s entourage is enough indictment on the president himself. In saner climes, Maina would be facing the full wrath of the law by now, but this is Nigeria where the President sees nothing wrong with romancing corruption and corrupt people .”