Maina accuses Head of Service, Isa Sali, of seizing on his woes to loot pension funds

Mr. Maina alleges that a new vista of pension looting has been opened by his recent travails

The embattled head of the presidential team on pension reforms, Abdulrasheed Maina, declared wanted over N195 billion pension fraud, has accused the Head of Service of the federation, Isa Sali of seizing on his troubles to pursue even broader scale of pension looting.

Mr. Maina said he had “verifiable” evidence the federal pension scheme was returning to “the looting era” which his team set out to end, with an alleged 98 percent of pensioners denied their benefits since November, 2012.

He said the process of preparing for payments, had been “desperately hijacked” by Mr. Sali, whom he accused of refusing to sign documents completed by his team, the Pension Reform Task Team, since November.

“It is surprising to note that when the Pension Team concluded paper-work preparation for the payment of November, 2012 monthly pension, as usual, the PRTT sent it to the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Alhaji Bello Isa Sali, who usually approves the payment without delay; but could not attend to it, and with no official communication to date,” Mr. Maina said in a statement.

“As soon as the current Senate issues erupted,” he added, “the Pension Team wonders why Alhaji Sali facilitated the hijacking of the payment which would ruin the Federal Government pension transformation agenda.”

Mr. Maina is accused by the Senate of leading one of the most brazen and sophisticated theft in Nigeria’s history, involving nearly N200 billion of retirees’ benefits. The allegation is even more intriguing as his team, the PRTT, was set up to reform an already terribly corrupt sector.

A select Senate committee has spent nearly a year on the investigations, with shocking revelations involving how Mr. Maina lodged huge sums into accounts owned by relatives, and how he introduced fake names of beneficiaries after weeding the ones he met.

Mr. Maina has denied the allegations, and for months, has been embroiled in accusations and counter accusations with the senate, turning down its summons. The controversy peaked a fortnight ago after the Senate urged President Goodluck Jonathan to fire the pension boss, and order his prosecution.

Police have declared Mr. Maina wanted.

After demurring briefly, Mr. Jonathan directed the Head of Service, Mr. Sali, to discipline the reform team chairman, Mr. Maina, who originally served as an Assistant Director in the civil service.

No sanctions have yet been announced.

In a rambling statement signed by the Reform Team’s media consultant, Olajide Fashikun, on Sunday, Mr. Maina said in the past three months, his team had been stripped of supervisory powers over pension matters.

“The unfortunate consequences of these actions are that Nigeria pensioners’ funds are being stolen through a remittal alert where a pensioner received bank alert whereas he is credited with nothing in his bank account, more than 90% of these pensioners are out rightly denied pensions, while about 2% of them are paid only 10% of their entitled pensions,” he said.

“With the current distraction of the Senate, the pension fraudulent activities have not only resurfaced, but it is bigger, bolder and more widespread and likely to be worse than those who are standing trial. Consequently, a whole new vista of pension looting era is back since November 2012,” he added.

The Head of Service could not be reached for immediate comments on the allegation.


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  • Philemon A.

    My Dear Maina,

    Go clear yourself first and then you can tell us who else is looting.

    • Tripple A

      True. Supported.

  • Lanre Ake

    This guy should just shut the hell up and go clear his name. Enough of insult to our sensibility. The system that threw up character like this is sure begging for an urgent and thorough overhaul but again who will do that….GEJ? I doubt! Such a funny country, an interesting time and equally interesting people!

  • bitrus

    it is unfortunate a public servant has become wild and wants to implicate everybody. yesterday it was the Senate, now the Head of Service. what is the civil service turning into? the least i expected from maina is to appear before the Senate and clear his name. alot of us public servants have appeared several times before the icpc and efcc to answer questions before. maina should also realize that in the latest civil service handbook civil servants are directed to cooperate with the national assembly. i quote : ‘when summoned, therefore, it is incumbent on a civil servant so summoned to comply…’. i feel for maina, but trying to pull down respected personalities would not help his cause. God bless Nigeria.

  • Tripple A

    Coruption single-handedly destroyed Nigeria.

  • Mrs Temitope

    YOU SEE WE NIGERIANS ARE THE CAUSE OF OUR PROBLEMS. JUST BECAUSE WE HEAR SOMEONE BEING DEMONIZED BY THE MEDIA, WE JUST JUMP AND START INSULTING SUCH PEOPLE, ONLY TO COME BACK AT A LATER DATE TO REALIZE THE TRUTH, AND THEN, ONLY THEN, SHALL WE SULK. I BELIEVE THIS MAINA MAN IS INNOCENT AND HE IS A VICTIM OF USE AND DUMP BY GEJ GOVERNMENT, BECAUSE HE WENT ON NATIONAL TELEVISION TO CHALLENGE ANYBODY TO COME OUT AND SAY OTHERWISE, BUT ITS NOW OVER 2 YEARS AND NO ONE CAME TO SAY A WORD, THE ACHIEVEMENTS ARE REAL AND HE ACTUALLY PAID OVER 152,000 PENSIONERS THEIR ARREARS FOR SOME PENSIONERS CLOSE TO 30 YEARS ARREARS. PLEASE TRY TO DIG DEEP BEFORE YOU START ACCUSING PEOPLE. AM FROM THE SOUTHWEST AND I KNOW PEOPLE ON OUR STREET THAT WERE LIBERATED BY THIS MAN. THE SENATORS REQUESTED FOR BRIBE AND HE SAID IT ON TV. ALSO A PETITION WAS WRITTEN BY TWO AIDES OF THE PENSION THIEVES ON HOW THEY DISTRIBUTED THE 3 BILLION BRIBE GIVEN TO THE SENATE COMMITTEE BY MR TEDI SHUAIBU (ALLEGED PENSION THIEVE).
    KINDLY LOOK THROUGH THE NEEDLES EYE AND HAVE THE FEAR OF THE ALMIGHTY. I TRULY BELIEVE THIS GUY IS INNOCENT. (THERE IS NO WAY A SINGLE ORDINARY DEPUTY DIRECTOR CAN STEAL 195BILLION) HOW? IF HE WAS TRULY IN CO-HOOT WITH THE BIG MAN, THEN WHY HAS HE BEEN HUNTED AND HAUNDED. C’MON GUYS, PLEASE ASK BREKETE FAMILY TO PLAY THE VIDEO OF THE SENATE HEARING WHERE THE HONOURABLE MINISTER OF FINANCE SAID THAT MAINA HAS NO CONTACT WITH FUNDS, ONLY THE ACCOUNTANT GENERAL AND HOW SHE FROZE THE ACCOUNTS WHERE THE MONIES RECOVERED BY MAINA COMMITTEE WAS KEPT AND SHE TRANSFERRED THE FUNDS INTO CBN. MAINA WAS ONLY THE HEAD OF THE TEAM WHICH COMPRISED OF EFCC, ICPC, DSS, NIA, OFFICE OF ACCOUNTANT GENERAL, AUDITOR GENERAL PUBLIC COMPLAINTS COMMISSION ETC ETC. SO IF YOU ACCUSE MAINA THEN YOU SHOULD ALSO ACCUSE EFCC, ICPC SSS, NIA, ATTORNEY GENERAL , ACCOUNTANT GENERAL ETC. I SAY PLEASE TREAD WITH CAUTION, FOR TOMORROW IT MAY HAPPEN TO EITHER YOURSELF IN EVEN A VERY LITTLE WAY OR SOMEONE CLOSE TO YOU.
    Mrs Temitope

  • Alan George Friday Jnr

    mrs temitope
    you are an idle nigerian. thats why they use us and always dump us. (politicians) i have since found out that some of those commenting are either relatives of the pension thieves, or of the former head of service himself. someone raised issue and all you do is pounce on him. thats how una go end up in ajegunle in the slums because you see through your mouth not your brain. Maina is and will continue to be a Hero in Nigeria. I bet you. Who else in the history of this Country ever recovered cash/assets over N1,6TRILLION? what is supposed to be his commission? N80BILLION Has he been given that amount? i dont think so. last we heard was that the man was being pursued by Union Bank on a housing loan and so on and so forth. if you dont believe, the please write a letter to the offices that worked with Mainas Team. I am ready to establish some of these facts because i am a staff of AUDITOR GENERALS Office, and we were the ones who checked the documents and found nothing on this guy, only that he owes many companies for publishing list of pensioners like Leadership newspaper. you can find out.
    Alan