EXCLUSIVE: INTERPOL speaks on Maina’s ‘arrest warrant’

Abdulrasheed Maina
Former Chairman of defunct Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms, Abdulrasheed Maina[Photo Credit: Buzz Nigeria]

The International Police organisation, INTERPOL, has responded to an inquiry filed by PREMIUM TIMES on why Abdulrasheed Maina, a man it declared wanted and placed on its red notice was moving around the world without hindrance.

Mr. Maina was declared wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, in 2015. He was subsequently placed on INTERPOL’s wanted list by the EFCC.

However, despite the listing, Mr. Maina spent over two years in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and secretly visited Nigeria a few times within the period.

The embattled civil servant, however, narrowly escaped arrest in the United States at a point, as he used his immigration status to wriggle out, a source familiar with the matter told PREMIUM TIMES.

Documents seen by this newspaper showed correspondences between EFCC and INTERPOL through its Nigerian liaison from late 2015 to early 2016.

The EFCC first filed a request for Mr. Maina’s Red Notice listing on November 18, 2015.

After a couple of letters between the two sides, the INTERPOL office in the Nigerian Police headquarters, which is Nigeria’s designated National Central Bureau, wrote to the EFCC confirming Mr. Maina’s listing.

The letter dated January 11, 2016 and signed by Olushola Kamar Subair, confirmed conclusion of the process.

Mr. Subair, a police commissioner, also attached extract from INTERPOL’s database to show evidence of the publication.

The extract, dated 7/1/2015, carries Mr. Maina’s picture, passport number and other details, along with reasons why he was declared wanted.

The document also contained two requests for the 192 INTRERPOL member nations: “Locate and arrest with a view to extradition” and “provisional arrest”.

Officials said it was therefore a puzzle that Mr. Maina could be moving around despite the publication of the notice.

Search conducted on INTERPOL’s Wanted List window on its website did not reveal Mr. Maina’s name, raising concern as to what happened to his supposed listing.

However, INTERPOL said the absence of Mr. Maina’s name on its public search window does not mean he was not on its red notice.

The organisation referred PREMIUM TIMES to the Nigerian Police for real reasons behind Mr. Maina’s seeming disappearance from the radar.

An investigator familiar with the Maina case said it was possible the suspect might have used some elements to take down the notice.

He said the EFCC had seen early warning signs showing that Mr. Maina was having his ears in the Nigeria Police INTERPOL office with the disappearance of initial request letter filed for his arrest.

“Mr. Maina made many attempts to get EFCC remove his name from the Red Notice, promising to bring himself back. This shows that the man was aware of his listing, which is an anomaly itself. No one should know that he or she has been flagged,” the source said.

But efforts to get the Nigeria Police to speak on the matter have been abortive. Police spokesperson, Jimoh Moshood, who promised Wednesday evening to call our reporter back did not do so 24 hours after.

Also, further calls made to him on Thursday were not answered.

Read the full INTERPOL response below:

Confidentiality Level : INTERPOL For official use only

Dear Mr Abdulaziz,

Thank you for your email.

If or when police in any of INTERPOL’s 192 member countries share information with the General Secretariat in Lyon in relation to investigations and fugitives, this information remains under the ownership of that member country. INTERPOL does not therefore comment on specific cases or individuals except in special circumstances and with approval of the member country concerned.

With regard to your request in relation to this individual, we would advise you to contact the authorities in the countries where you believe there may be an investigation ongoing.

If INTERPOL is asked to send out a Red Notice in response to an arrest warrant, following a review to ensure the request conforms with our rules and regulations, the information will be sent out to all our 192 member countries.

In addition to this, member countries have the option of having an abridged version of the Red Notice posted on INTERPOL’s website http://www.interpol.int/Wanted-Persons.

If no Red Notice is published, this is either because one has not been requested or issued for that person, or the requesting country has asked that it not be publicized.

A Red Notice is a request to provisionally arrest an individual pending extradition issued by the General Secretariat upon the request of a member country based on a valid national arrest warrant. It is not an international arrest warrant.

The individuals concerned are wanted by national jurisdictions (or International Criminal Tribunals, where appropriate) and INTERPOL’s role is to assist national police forces in identifying or locating those individuals with a view to their arrest and extradition.

Red Notices are only issued to INTERPOL member countries if the requesting National Central Bureau (NCB) has provided all the information required by the General Secretariat.

INTERPOL’s General Secretariat does not send officers to arrest individuals who are the subject of a Red Notice.

Many of INTERPOL’s member countries however, consider a Red Notice a valid request for provisional arrest, especially if they are linked to the requesting country via a bilateral extradition treaty. In cases where arrests are made based on a Red Notice, these are made by national police officials in INTERPOL member countries.

INTERPOL cannot insist or compel any member country to arrest an individual who is the subject of a Red Notice. Nor can INTERPOL require any member country to take any action in response to another member country’s request. Each INTERPOL member country decides for itself what legal value to give Red Notice within their borders.

Regards,

Press Office


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  • Malik

    Nigerian Police – an eyesore.

  • emmanuel

    APC the Fuli house of corruption. You are doing very well.
    From day one, you carried your leader shoulder high fro forging his WAEC certificate, it will preposterous to assume that you would not act atypical of your leader in all situations?
    That you for being the bad people you are.

  • Daniel

    One thing is clear : if the Nigerian government wanted Maina arrested in Dubai or wherever, he would have been.

    This government gives Maina protection.

    This government lacks credibility.

    • AryLoyds

      My guess is that this criminal has a diplomatic passport giving him cover from arrest. The fulani gov of Buhari know this very much !

    • Otile

      How can they arrest him when they need him to make their chanji happen? As yet they are protecting until the noise dies down. Are Oke and Babachir not walking, what can anybody do about them? Buhari is fantastically corrupt indeed.

      • Daniel

        True.

  • forestgee

    I am baffled why people cannot see through the smokescreen of this deceitful and propaganda government. Nigerians are being deceived into believing that there is war against corruption; when in fact there is selective targeting of enemies and political opponents. Nepotism, tribalism, etc the worst forms of corruption. Grass cutter report still pending!

  • Okokondem

    YOU MAY FIND THIS REPORT INTERETSING….It was written about a month ago by a fellow northern as Buhari. It is even more relevant today in light of the questionable, distasteful reinstatement of this fellow once declared a fugitive.

    Buhari: Nepotism
    Smelling All Over Nigeria – By Dr. Junaid Mohammed

    “Let me say straight away that whether one calls it a cabal or a mafia or power
    within the presidency under Buhari, whatever you say it is; it
    is, and a lot worse. First, the most influential person in the
    presidency today is one Mamman Daura whom as you know, is a nephew of
    the president. His father was Buhari’s elder brother. In addition,
    Mamman Daura was the one who single-handedly brought up Abba Kyari,
    the current chief of staff to the president. In fact, Abba Kyari
    knows Mamman Daura more than he knows his own father.

    “Next, the personal assistant to Buhari himself is the son of Mamman Daura, next
    is the State Chief of Protocol (SCOP), and is also a son-in-law
    to Mamman Daura because he is married to Mamman Daura’s daughter.

    Next, the minister they unilaterally chose, against the interest of the party and
    against the wishes of Sokoto people, happens to be the daughter
    of the younger sister of Mamman Daura’s wife. Both of them are
    daughters of Sultan Dasuki, who was sacked by General Abacha. We have
    the aide-de-camp to Buhari himself, Colonel Abubakar. He is married
    to the granddaughter of one of Buhari’s elder sisters.

    Next we have the woman who represents Kaduna in the Federal Executive Council, she is
    a cousin to Kaduna State governor, Nasir el-Rufai. It is a well known that el-Rufai is one of the closest governors to Muhammadu Buhari.

    “Next, we have the Minister for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
    The Minister of the FCT is the man called Musa Bello, who used to be the Managing
    Director of the Northern Nigeria Development Corporation, which used
    to be the biggest holding company that belonged to all the northern
    states. His only qualification to be the FCT minister is the fact
    that his father has been Buhari’s friend over the years.

    Now, there is a young man called Sabiu Yusuf, nicknamed Tunde – probably because of
    the late General Tunde Idiagbon. He is another PA to President
    Buhari. He is also a grandson of another sister of Buhari.

    “This is enough to prove to you that this is shamelessly the worst form of nepotism in
    the history of government in Nigeria. In fact, in the history of
    Africa, let me make bold to assert that I have never seen any level
    of nepotism that has equalled or surpassed this in my entire life –
    I am now in my 67th year. Another thing I also want you to know is
    that Amina Zakari, who was and is still a national commissioner in
    the Independent National Electoral Commission representing the entire
    seven states in the North-west; it is being claimed that Buhari knows
    nothing about her appointment (before he became the president), it is a lie.

    “When President Goodluck Jonathan was reorganising INEC and he was bringing in Prof.
    Attahiru Jega, he reached out to Buhari and asked him to nominate
    somebody from the North-west so that, that person would be a national
    commissioner. Of all the people in the North-west, Buhari decided to
    nominate his own niece, the daughter of his elder sister – Amina
    Zakari. She has been there; when Jega left, Buhari was determined to
    make her the chairman, it was because of the massive backlash that he
    dropped the idea like hot potatoes. As we are talking today, that
    woman is a national commissioner which means she is one of the
    principal members of the election umpire.

    “Throughout my reading of history, political science and social sciences generally,
    I have never heard of any dictator or any tyrant under any system
    of government whether totalitarian or fascist, appointing his own
    niece to conduct elections in which he was either a party or going to
    be a party to; Buhari has done that.

    The immediate younger brother to Amina Zakari is currently the Minister for Water
    Resources representing Jigawa State in the same Buhari government.
    In addition, even though they are from Kazaure, Kazaure is contiguous
    to Daura. The eldest sister of both of them is now the Commissioner
    for Education in the All Progressives Congress government in Jigawa
    State. If this is not nepotism, then I don’t know what nepotism is.

    For somebody who had the guts and the brutal arrogance to appoint these relations, not
    bothered about public opinion, about the sense of justice, and
    about competence, then you can see that he has a very serious
    question to answer.”

    • thisnigeria

      What more can we say? And what else do we expect?

  • joe

    Nigerian Police Force – screwed up. Nigerian Judiciary – Fcuked up. Nigerian House of Assembly (of criminals ) – Crime-ridden. Nigerian Executive Branch – Full of crap. So Nigeria as country is ————- (Fill in the blank space). ☺

    • Quantumspirit666

      SHIT.

      • Arabakpura

        Your mother’s asshole is full of shit!

        • Quantumspirit666

          YOUR smelly ugly illiterate mother in the EVIL FOREST is sucking little hunchback KANUs dick. No wonder you have the time to use the internet.When is your smelly father coming home from KUJE prison?

  • Dr. Inih A. Ebong

    A British journalist (writing for the London Financial Times, I suppose) once described Nigeria many years ago, as a country where one can smuggle an elephant into the country undetected at the ports. The Nigerian Government at the time cried blue murder and castigated the journalist. With hindsight now, and from all the facts and allegations emerging every hour and everyday about Abdulrasheed Maina, the Nigerian police, the EFCC, and what have you, I nominate that British journalist (whose name I cannot readily recall) for an award of the highest honour in Nigeria for telling us an immortal truth several years ago, which we have always brushed under the carpet. The truth told several years ago has returned full cycle with the Minagate!!!

    • Otile

      Didn’t the Prime Minister warn the Queen that Buhari is fantastically corrupt? They know him, they want his money, but he has no shame. In a little while he will show up there again without shame.

    • Message66

      Was it not in this same country that a massive oil tanker larger than a football field disappeared from our national port into thin air? Navy and NPA were claiming they knew nothing about it.

      • Powerlessconscious

        Was it not the same country that some gang of looters turned CBN to ATM.

    • Otile

      Also 53 bags full of drugs and money were smuggled from London to Eko to Birnin Gwandu to Daura undetected?

    • Xavier

      The same Britons who taught Nigerians all the fraudulent practices. Was it not under their noses Alamesigha snuck out of detention and traveled back to Nigeria?

  • Lanre

    Thank you Premium Times. Great, exceptional work. World class standard.

  • Netanyahu

    Not surprised. No comments from “hailers”: Mumu ola, Julius, woman leader, gbola, dele awogbeoloshi, Maria and a host of other e-miscreants who love mumuhari more than his foolani jihadists. The stage is set. Shame. Thank you PT for a fantastic job. Please keep it up. I am sure by 2019 apc would have voluntarily given up on reelection.

    • Powerlessconscious

      Illiterate. Who will replace APC? Answer please. Your answer will tell if your brain is functioning well.

  • Funso Famuyiwa

    If what the SSA to the President on Prosecution, Mr. Obong-Obla declared so loudly and vociferously on Journalists Hangout last nite is to be believed, we should soon know whether Mr. Maina is the Real CROOK, or he was railroaded and hounded out of the country so that the Major Players in the Pension Fund Heist would Not be unmasked. At least, that is what Mr. Obong-Obla claimed.
    And if he turns out to be correct, the Media itself would have been the instrument used to cover up a major scandal, wittingly or unwittingly. My gut feeling is that Maina is Anything but INNOCENT, however, he was scared away so that the Really Big Fish in this Scandal would not be exposed. So, Maina coming back is Not the Calamity that many would want us to believe , although the way and manner it was done stinks. But I am sure, some people are getting real nervous now. I hope the “Nigerian Factor” does not bury this somehow. Everybody stay tuned !

    • persona

      Obla is one and the same with Malami. He is supposed to be with Sagay but he is not. He simply joined forces with Malami since it was rumored that Malami was being angled to replace Buhari due to his illness. There is no unmasking: you don’t commit a crime to legitimize a whistleblower–that is why Snowden is hounded and holed up in a foreign embassy.
      Obla is not a man to be trusted, the truth is, Malami and co ensured to use the fact Buhari had travelled out for medical treatment then brought the guy in because he has money to fund the emergence of Malami and the cabal should Buhari not recover and now, the whole thing didn’t go as planned.
      Obla was the same claiming that Maina was not found guilty in any court but used a magistrate court ruling to vacate a high court ruling against Maina…who in his right mind would say such?
      Obla was rewarded when he became a silk recently, please don’t be swayed.

      • Afo

        Sounds real and reflection of the thief called Obla. His tone of communication depicts him as a corrupt person who can dance to any tune in his favour. Still cannot imagine how someone who is innocent should be running from investigation despite heavy security around him. Waiting for the drama to play out fully.

        • persona

          Obla is a typical crook that can argue for and against.
          He stood in tandem with Malami and used the media to force Magu to hand over prosecution list with the agency and thus tried to make Magu look like insubordinate.
          As a member of the presidential taskforce, he is pivoting on that to establish what he’s hired to do.
          Sagay should likewise move to have his team rejigged because having criminals within is the weakest link to any platform that seeks to do good.

  • Arabakpura

    And this was a man approved by the Attorney General of Nigeria for reinstatement and promotion! Attorney General my foot and Minister of Injustice for real!

  • Quantumspirit666

    Dressed for bed, but going to “office” Nigeria!!!!!!!! Why do most Nigerian male politicians look pregnant,and usually dress up like village tyrants of the stone age.

  • persona

    PT is beginning to ask the right questions which is what i had asked we do than all the usual sensationalism with us and its why issues eventually are swept under the caroet.
    Who is Maina is the most relevant question to be asked? For a man to be protected by 2 successive governments and our entire security system providing cover for an alleged criminal, there must be something about Maina.
    Buhari has ordered his exit and yet again, the guy has escaped and all the agencies under DanBazau cant find him nor can they find Kanu aswell, what more do we need than to seek that from Ministers of Interior, Justice and even the comptroller general of immigration be sacked forthwith.

    • Dr Bunmi Binitie

      Thank you. WHO IS THIS MAINA is the most relevant question right now. Then we will know why he wields so much power

      • persona

        From nowhere, no basis, he was brought in to widen the already corrupt pension scam and it became rogue.
        The former IGP was providing cover and yet declared him wanted.
        If the likes of Malami couldn’t go to anyone else but Maina, there is clearly a problem.
        Buhari should know that this was a decider of GEJ’s fate, he was in the UK when the corrupt people around him whisked Maina in again.
        The nation needs to not see Maina crated back BUT the co-conspirators be docked as criminal accomplice.
        Many say that Buhari is slow, if anyone was in his shoes, you will be overwhelmed by daily reports of criminals that surround you daily who stand for everything else other than what he stands for.
        Maina is back on INTERPOL’s list and Nigeria has extradition treaty with UAE where he usually hides even as he has a US passport.
        Buhari has a credibility deficit as long as those rogue elements are around him.

      • wasborn Tseki

        How come they found him, when they wanted to bring him back to Nigeria.
        “Nigeria is a failed nation that works for the very people who has failed it,” ………..Rudolf Okonkwo

  • Kenny

    Theatre of corruption! The country is sick and doomed! Immigration, Police and DSS are filthy institutions long overdue for serious overhaul and reorientation! !

  • Lorgne

    PT, the letter is curiously addressed to Abdulaziz (Maina) and no mention is made of his name. It would have done you better sticking to the INTERPOL OFFICE in NIgeria Police.

  • persona

    Nigeria is a clear case of the following movies:
    1- a few good men: We can hardly see anyone that will do good when not watched.
    2- All the president’s men: The rogues surrounding and soiling his person eventually makes him an enabler unless he gets rid of them
    3- Clear and present danger: The posture of Buhari trying to stand tall when indeed his wife has told him his blindspot, he should not think history will be on his side as man that tried to do good a second time.
    Very few things/people stand redeemable in the country. Banks in the name of deposits begin to pay election umpires and refuse to report to appropriate agency?
    Bringing in a fugitive and promoting same?
    Construction of a single road of 100km(Lagos-Ibadan) for the last 17 years?
    We indeed have serious issues and Nigeria should rather be a community and not a country.

  • Cahoot

    The impunity of the Hausa-Fulani in Nigeria is destroying the country. They will breach any thing to protect their people from prosecution. Yet they will turn to hound people of other ethnic stock.

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  • Timothy

    Someone is trying real hard to nail this guy Maina even before he appears….why is Premium Times so focused on nailing this guy…Ok we get it…he was smuggled into the country by DSS…he was given money by DSS…he was on EFCC wanted list…and now he is supposed to be on interpol wanted list and now its not or he had someone allegedly remove it. I see a pattern here….nail him before he grows….Am particularly wondering why you guys find it so difficult to reach him and hear his side of the story? Or your sponsors wont like that…..I guess you too are making a lot of money from this attack. Let the courts decide if he is guilty or not….let him come out clean and say his part….if he is guilty lets all hear it….Maina has something to say….his family has given us a hint….now try and reach him and lets have his own side….is that too much to ask?

    • Frank Bassey

      Why not help us reach him, or give P/T the lead. P/T is re-constructing the platform of Nigeria’s colourless Journalism, Journalism of bread, butter and tea. Your post should consign you to the corner of Shame. For having the boldness to say all these, you deserve the visitation of evil spirits.

      • Timothy

        Mr. Frank…if I went to Premium Times and gave them information about you having sex with a dog and a photograph to show it…does it mean you really did it? If you say yes then I guess we are right to accuse Maina…but if you say No…I can never do such a thing….then I guess you deserve to be heard…dont you think?

        • Frank Bassey

          Timothy, your logic is faulty. If Maina had approached P/T with his own side of the story and P/T rejected it, that would be a different matter. The man is at large and wouldn’t want to be traced. Besides, the press conference his family freely and openly addressed in Kaduna recently should bear his own side of the story. You are totally wrong to accuse P/T of “hidden agenda.”

          • Timothy

            Well if am wrong to accuse PT of hidden agenda then the story should not be affirmative or conclusive until they hear from Maina….Obviously all the headlines surrounding this man states his guilty as sin….Everyone on this platform have already concluded he is guilty…no one has asked the pertinent questions which surrounds his return…or secretly reinstatement…if you were in his shoes would you trust this media to approach them?

            I know he has questions to answer and if the media was sawing they could not reach him…but they reached his family members and heard their side of the story and they confirmed somethings to this media house isnt it obvious that if they wanted his say he would have freely given it?

          • Frank Bassey

            You are not making any point.

          • Timothy

            I thought in journalism when you get a story and pursue it you have to ensure of your source and also verify the information…sometimes it may mean that if a man says you did something…its mandated they confirm from you to hear your side of the story…its becomes one-sided when they just publish one side and since the other person can not respond its deemed he is guilty. They say he went into hiding…he is the first who has been accused of stealing or diverting public funds? Many of them dont go into hiding…so why is he in hiding? Unless if there’s a threat to life….which in this case could be the reason his hiding. Do your background check bros….this media consistently has published stories of how he was this and that…DSS transferred money to his account and so on…there’s a pattern to make the accusations stick and let people believe his connivance with the DSS is what made him get the position he got.

            My stance is simply borne out of the audio conversation I heard and its between him and founder of Brekete Family Radio…Ahmed….and openly on radio the man was accused to stealing pension funds and the man humbly replied he never stole any money and he had evidences that he was being framed and he has pictures of the bullet holes of the car he drove (he was hot in)…plus he has documents to show he is innocent….however it was easy for Ahmed to rally people to the Unity Fountain in protest against the man…only for him to be astonished when he called the man and the said all he said…Ahmed now asked him to come to the studio to state his side and asked him if he was promised protection from Buhari himself would he come out and he agreed he would.

            If you heard the audio tape would you now prosecute the man? You now wonder why this media is not making effort to hear his side but are constantly bombarded with information against him…whats the motive?

          • Frank Bassey

            Mtcheew!

          • Timothy

            “Press conference his family freely and openly addressed in Kaduna….” I was thinking it should have been a Premium Times exclusive….you see the family was reacting to what they read on the media…no one is asking them the pertinent questions until they came out to give it….

  • Peter Ajewole

    I am following this guy and the story of his escapades. He must be very powerful and connected. Employed by Jonathan. Smuggled into the country back by Buhari’s confidants. Doubly promoted and paid arrears for the years he was in hiding, beat Interpol’s dragnet.Give it to him, he’s smarter than our clueless politicians. If only he can use this capability for the benefit of Nigeria.

  • Quantumspirit666

    It does matter. Nigerian politicians dont DRESS FOR WHERE YOU ARE GOING they DRESS FOR WHERE THEY COME FROM. Is a DISGRACE.None of them has made any sacrifice than NELSON MANDELA. and the man was very SMART. You already see little hunchback KANU practising. Walks around with walking stick in one hand,feather in the other,wrapper round and pretending to be a MESSIAH. The world laughs at them and they dont even realise it.They cant be taken seriously.

    • Dr Bunmi Binitie

      Hellooooo!!! I did conclude that you are right so we are on the same page!

      • Quantumspirit666

        Oh, nice to know there are others who expect their representatives to present themselves appropriately and stop reminding us of the stone age era.