Mainagate: 20 important questions SSS chief, AGF, HoS, others are yet to answer

Abdulrashid Maina
Former Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina

On Thursday, principal officials who played one role or the other in the controversial return and reinstatement of Abdulrasheed Maina appeared before the House of Representatives Committee investigating the scandal.

Mr. Maina went back to hiding after President Muhammadu Buhari ordered his sack and an investigation into his controversial return, The president’s directives followed public outcry by Nigerians after PREMIUM TIMES’ reports on how the ex-civil servant who is still wanted by the anti-graft EFCC was sneaked into the country, promoted, and reinstated.

The Head of Service of the federation, HoS, Winifred Oyo-Ita; Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, Abubakar Malami; Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun; acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu; Director General of the State Security Service, SSS, Lawal Daura; Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris; Comptroller General of the Nigerian Immigration Services, Mohammed Babandede; and the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior, Abubakar Magaji, were some of those quizzed at the hearing.

In succession, the lawmakers questioned the actors on their roles and that of the agencies they represent on Mr. Maina’s scandal. PREMIUM TIMES reported the summary of the presentation of each of the officials.

While the lawmakers tried to ask relevant questions, there are key questions they did not ask the principal actors or which the actors failed to provide adequate answers to.

PREMIUM TIMES highlights some of these key questions in the hope the lawmakers have another chance to raise them.

1. SSS DG, Lawal Daura

Mr. Daura confirmed that he advised the AGF to meet with Mr. Maina in a foreign country. He also admitted that his agency provided security for Mr. Maina, while saying his agency was not briefed by any other agency that Mr. Maina was a fugitive.

The key questions the lawmakers, however, failed to ask Mr. Daura include:

1.     Did Mr. Daura brief President Muhammadu Buhari before advising a minister to meet with a fugitive?

2.     If he did brief the president, what was Mr. Buhari’s stance? If not, why did he not?

3.     Since the SSS has admitted providing security for Mr. Maina; where then is Mr. Maina now? Why has he not been handed over to the EFCC for prosecution especially after the president’s directives?

4.     Despite not being formally notified about Mr. Maina fugitive status, is Mr. Daura saying the SSS as an intelligence agency was not aware of Mr. Maina’s fugitive status?

5.     One of the accusations that has soiled the SSS is that the service between 2011 and 2013 paid N152 million into one of Mr. Maina’s secret account in the name of Cluster Logistics Limited domiciled at Fidelity Bank. Although Mr. Daura had not assumed office then, can he confirm/justify the payment?

6.     What role did the SSS play in bringing Mr. Maina back into Nigeria (Mr. Daura admitted he was in a foreign country before they started providing security for him)? How was he brought back into the country without the Immigration Service, NIS, being aware?

2. EFCC chairman Ibrahim Magu

Mr. Magu admitted that Mr. Maina is still wanted and said the fugitive never voluntarily returned any property to the EFCC.

However, the NIS said the EFCC wrote it in December 2015 to remove Mr. Maina’s name from the no-fly list.

7. Why did the EFCC make such request to the NIS even when Mr. Maina had not surrendered himself?

8. Why did the EFCC not formally notify the SSS of Mr. Maina’s fugitive status especially since the SSS is present at airports and EFCC is not?

9. How would the EFCC describe its intelligence gathering since it took journalists (PREMIUM TIMES) to reveal that Mr. Maina was back in the country and was secretly reinstated?

10. Why did the EFCC have to wait until the public outcry before sealing Mr. Maina’s properties in Abuja and Kaduna?

3. Minister of Justice AGF Abubakar Malami

11. The SSS DG confirmed that the AGF sought his advice before meeting Mr. Maina in a foreign country? Does the AGF report to the SSS DG? Why did he not request his employer, President Buhari’s permission or advice directly?

12. Did the AGF take Mr. Daura’s advice as that of President Buhari? Why?

13. Did the AGF actually meet Mr. Maina? Where? What was discussed?

13. Mr. Maina said in a video that after meeting the AGF he helped him recover about N1.4 trillion for Nigeria. Is it true? Where is the money?

14. Did the AGF formally brief President Buhari of his meeting with a fugitive in a foreign country? If yes what was the president’s response? If no, why not?

15. If the AGF is claiming he did not authorise/sign the letters that emanated from his office, who did? If such is true, does that not indicate that many of such letters may have emanated from the AGF’s office putting the country and its citizens at risk? Has anyone in the AGF’s office been punished for that?

4. Head of Service, HOS, Oyo-Ita

The HOS said the Interior ministry did not wait for her express permission before reinstating Mr. Maina. PREMIUM TIMES had, however, reported how the HoS was always on the loop and actually helped transmit decisions leading to the reinstatement.

16. If the HoS knew Mr. Maina’s reinstatement was wrong, why did she not write or order that the process be stopped.

17. Since she was in the know during the reinstatement process, why did she not formally notify the EFCC to request if Mr. Maina had surrendered himself for trial?

18. Why did the HoS wait until the reinstatement was virtually concluded before verbally notifying President Buhari (based on her own admission)? Also why did she not formally write the president on the matter as is the norm in the civil service?

19. What did President Buhari say after the HoS briefed him of the controversial recall before it was leaked to the public?

20. The Permanent Secretary in the Interior Ministry who accepted blame for the reinstatement, what disciplinary measures will be meted out on him?


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  • Otunga

    On this scandal alone not to mention the several others, Buhari has lost my vote permanently.

    • Abdullah Musa

      You have surely taken the best decision.

    • share Idea

      Wait for attack from APC e-mob. Nigeria we hail thee

      • KBE

        The e-rats are already tired of defending the indefensible. The internet hyenas of APC are in coma presently having fainted as a result of undeniable evidences of misconduct by their messiah.

  • KBE

    Answers to Premium times questions.
    1. DAURA and Malami are part of cabal holding Buhari and indeed the entire nation to ransom.
    2. EFCC did not act because it knows its limits. Whenever the cabal’s interest is concerned the EFCC will look the other way. EFCC can only go as far as the cabal allows because Magu has to keep his job. This confirms the selective method of fighting corruption.
    3. Buhari did not say anything until the news came to the public because he is actually not in charge but he is at the mercy of his undertakers (the cabal). He could not afford to move against his kitchen cabinet otherwise he risks being exposed. This shows how weak Buhari is actually and his lack of intergrity and leadership.
    4. HoS is employed and she at the mercy of her employer. She does not want to let go of the goodies of that office so it is convenient to keep quiet and lodge a feeble, face saving complaint to the President.

    Generally this is the sorry state of things under Buhari. The more you look the more you see incompetence, mediocrity and cronyism. A government of intergrity depraved chalartan by mediocres and clueless oligarchy for the gullible.

    • Hashim Wakil

      Very true. Spot on.

    • Moneyz N Horseyz

      You cannot be the head of a house used for unlawful racketeering, eg, drug trafficking, but claim not to be involved even though your knowledge of the illicit business can be established; It’s either you approve or you sanction the move but you CANNOT stay aloof. Lets cut through the chase and demand an explanation from President Boohari because it’s proven beyond reasonable doubt that all roads lead to him in the Mainagate.

  • atakamosu

    A grand conspiracy.

  • Intrepid

    See how buhari’s fulani mafia is mesmerizing the rest of Nigeria.

    The so called Mr intergrity and Mr incorruptible, surrounding himself with very dubious and corruptible souls.

    Give us a break jare.

    The stench of corruption smells all over buhari.

    • Arabakpura

      The man Buhari is not in charge of anything and infact does not know anything! If you dobut me, organize a press conference extemporaneously – that is without giving him advance notice of questions, you will discover that that his Western Germany outing was a superlative performance!

      • rules_emmanuelO.

        On this one, I bet he knows more than enough to qualify for impeachment! Hypocrisy, incompetence, recklessness de smell follow the man! M. Buhari is proving to be the worst thing to happen to Nigeria’s democracy!

      • Faith That Conquers

        My brother he knows it ALL. Buhari is a hypocrite. He hides behind others doing evil.

  • Timothy

    Here is my own thinking about this whole mess…..
    Maina has something to SELL to the govt and they agreed to it. Covertly Maina was supposed to deliver the goods while he is being protected and reinstated but along the line time ran out and those he was suppose to expose leaked his reinstatement and all hell went lose.

    The govt not able to get the GOODS Maina wants to sell can not face public ridicule so they have to revert back to status quo and maintain he is a fugitive……reason is simple….protect the guy while he does an open exhibition. Whoever is involved will be exposed and all eyes or the world shall see the rot in the system and those behind it. But somehow a fair hearing is going on but he is not there in person….so he is being protected to do his exhibition/expo. At the end of the day it would lead to more arrests….more drama….more fund recovery….and leave a lot of people with their mouths wide open.

    • man

      not good thinking. they can still sell maina. they just have to follow the process. go to efcc first. this is where malami messed up.
      he is an incompetent lawyer.

  • Arabakpura

    This whole saga stinks like Gen Buhari himself! I am not angry with Buhari because his name is Buhari, after all he is a Nigerian and a human being; but why did he claim what he is incapable of doing? thereby deceiving many Nigerians! He is the main culprit in all these things!

    • Sam

      What exactly is his crime ? For wanting to use a looter to catch bigger looters ? What is the difference between this and other plea bargain deals ? Most of you are clearly biased and waivers from the onset of this govt ,it is easy for you to want harp on this matter albeit hopelessly.

      • Arabakpura

        If you play like a thief and you are not smart, If you are caught, you are treated worse than thieves! That’s the moral of the situation! He said he won’t tell us what took him to London and how much it cost Nigeria, why would he give a hoot on this one?

      • Faith That Conquers

        Re-posted after 2 Years and 1 month Now:-
        Each time I re-post this it is always directed to Buhari’s die-hard supporters since I know their desire is for him to succeed.

        The unfortunate thing is that most times you people chose to play to the gallery.
        Please if truly you love the success of Buahri do something in the positive concerning these two requests as listed below. without it Nigeria has to continue bearing this ever increasing pains until 2019 when another set of lies and propaganda will be manufactured to gather votes for Buhari again.
        May the success you desire for Buhari be witnessed as you take heed to only these two simple divine demands for his success.

        Nigerians please and please obey and find solution to your problems. There will remain confusion, disunity and immense hardship all through Buhari’s regime. Not my wish but what Nigerians will witness because Buhari has no good mission or vision for the country.
        The only things that can change these things from continuing are:

        1) Buhari must admit openly he has been manipulating the system instead of proffering solutions. This, he will never do.

        2) After that, he must sincerely look for qualified Nigerians to assist his steering this ship of Nigeria instead of APC members who knew next to nothing about their ministries.

        3) He must allow the judiciary and the national assembly stand each separately as independent arm of the government.

        4) He must fight corruption not pretending he is not corrupt, but because they have all installed and benefited from corruption and God is not happy with any of them. The implication is there should be no sacred cows being protected directly or indirectly by him.

        5) If Nigerians want God to intervene not minding Buhari, they must love and accept themselves as one people above ethnic or religious affiliations.

        6) They must agree Buhari is no messiah to save Nigeria from its predicaments.
        Finally, the choice is either in the hands of Nigerians to do the two things advice or continue to suffer all through Buhari’s regime or for Buhari to comply with the outlined instructions so that God can lead Nigeria out of its sufferings.

      • KBE

        His offenses are hypocrisy, insincerity, incompetence, cluelessness, manipulation and lack of leadership. He pretended that he didn’t know anything about Maina’s return and reinstatement and that was why he ordered that he be sacked in the first place, particularly when there was an uproar. It is only you the diehard and zombie supporters that are telling us what Buhari did not say, that is using a ‘small looter’ whatever that means to catch a ‘big looter’. That was the kind of language we blamed Jonathan for. Buhari is simply insincere and incompetent.

        • grand maze

          3 gbosa for you

    • Faith That Conquers

      This has been posted for 2 years and 1 month now: “There will remain confusion, disunity and immense hardship all through Buhari’s regime. Not my wish but what Nigerians will witness because Buhari has no good mission or vision for the country.”
      I appreciate your honesty. Although you supported Buhari all along, but seeing his hypocrisy and speaking out against such reveals your good intention for supporting him in the first place.
      I pray that his other supporters will see him foe who he is: a hypocrite.

  • rules_emmanuelO.

    ‘Decent’ public officers people do not show half of this recklessness and incompetence before they resign.
    Again I ask at what point will the NASS do the needful and impeach this hypocrite? It is apparent VP Osibanjo would run the nation better for the remainder of the term.
    PMB and his 40 thieves! What a show of (no) shame!

  • Moneyz N Horseyz

    Maina’s reinstatement was achieved through the division of labour to the appointees of the President by the President. It’s confirmed in the leaked memo of the HoS that the President was warned against the move – that alone indicts the President as the Principal suspect. You cannot be the head of a house used for unlawful racketeering, eg, drug trafficking, but claim not to be involved even though your knowledge of the illicit business can be established; It’s either you approve or you sanction the move but you CANNOT stay aloof. Lets cut through the chase and demand an explanation from President Boohari because it’s proven beyond reasonable doubt that all roads lead to him in the Mainagate.

  • forestgee

    For Attorney General to seek (legal) advice from DG of DSS to see a fugitive is unbelievable! PMB is still sitting there when he should have sacked the corrupt officials around is difficult to understand. This government is CONFUSED and corrupt.

  • Yusufu Abdullahi

    Some of your questions directed to Mr. President was misguided because Mr. President has nothing to do directly with Officers. It is misguided for DSS to discuss Staff matters directly with Mr. President while the HCSF and FCSC are around with full responsibility. It is also the same misguided knowledge of telling the AGF to speak with Mr. President on issues affecting Officers.

    Mr. President responsibility is over and above individual crisis which was a carry over from previous regime miscarriage of justice.

    PREMIUM TIMES has left genesis of the case and jumped into woods showing its ignorance of civi service operations. It is not every staff issue that would be taken to Mr. President. Senator David Mark has told us why he first took Maina’s case to President Jonathan. I do not want to repeat it here. FCSC has also told the National Assembly the reason why AGF directed them to comply with the Industrial Court decision to reinstate Maina. As you have now finally agreed that the HOCSF shouldn’t have forwarded those correspondences of FCSC to MOI if she knew what she was doing because that is the cause of the problem. She should have kept Maina in her office to comply to due process as directed by the Industrial Court decision in removing Maina from service.

    We hope with President Buhari directives the HOCSF will follow the due process in removing Maina from the civil service. Your questions were purely misguided academic exercise which leads to no where by showing ignorance in civil service operations.

    • Nigerian My country

      When the corruption involves bubu ,all manners of almajiri summersaults shall be on display to exonerate the old man from his wilful complicities ,but when it affects others, you will say that the buck stops on their tables.buhari is a hypocrite and a cunning crafty unjust leader as far as I am concerned.
      All this stories are wilful afterthoughts to cover another corruption scandal involving buhari and those who allegedly used stolen loot to fund his 2015 campaign.nigerians are not so gullible,it is a. Well planned deal planned and executed by the so called men of integrity,that was how Baru nnpc fraud came and gone ,yet buhari is still parading himself as a warrior against corruption.what a joke,2019 is around the corner,God will surely save Nigeria from this national calamity and error of judgment.

      • Yusufu Abdullahi

        Empty barrel without brain.

    • Gary

      Arrant nonsense! The principal security appointees and the country’s Chief Law Officer don’t have direct line reporting to the President?
      This is the ridiculous extent you folks will go to shield Buhari from an ethnic conspiracy which is obvious to a certified idi*t.

      In any civilized setting, heads would have rolled at the least starting with the AGF and the DSS Chief. But this is Nigeria and the people have endorsed Buhari’s sectarian and nepotistic government. So much that the man is confidently seeking re-election amid the deluge of scandals and brazen violations of the Constitution.
      That it takes the media to ask pertinent questions in itself speaks to the quality of the legislators tasked with oversight of malfeasance in government.
      A crying shame.

      Meanwhile,whatever happened to the Senate probe of Maikanti’s shenanigans at NNPC?
      It has been quietly swept under the carpet after Senator Wammako was summoned to Aso Rock before the panel ever sat.
      You cannot fo*l all the people all the time.

      • realist

        Head can only roll if Buhari is not the master minder of the whole mess. What is going on in the house is just a jamboree just to buy out time. Those investigating are aware of this truth, that is why they deliberately makes everything slippery and necessary questions were avoided.

      • emmanuel

        Thank you for bringing this fact about Baru’s scam out again. Somehow, i read when Buhari invited Wamakko, but i lost track. Buhari in his corrupt style, killed that probe in the senate.
        Buhari is a very very corrupt man and careless about what anybody thinks. For those who lined up behind Tinubu, Amaechi and Jegs to install him? Nature will take back pounds of flesh!
        My stand before and shortly after Buharis swearing in still remains. Those who help make a dictator, most times get consumed by him.
        Hunger, suicide, starvation, Lbya route, Hospitals – new highway to the mutuaries, loss of jobs, contributing more to betting games, accidents on the highways, kidnapp, armed robberies are part of nature’s way of extracting payback.

    • ojomaje ijato

      Mr Yusuf, can you then tell us the duties of Mr President apart from reviewing parades? Your thesis has absolved the president of any management responsibility!

      • Yusufu Abdullahi

        I think it is needless to discuss with an empty mind who doesn’t know the strategic position of his President and other Public Officials appointed to support Mr. Presidency carry out his Constitutional duties. Dealing with a Staff, Assistant Director for that matter doesn’t require the attention of Mr. President. Mr. President has done the right thing we was expected to do and that was concurred with President Jonathan who initially called for Maina dismissal from service. The failure of the appointed paid Officials cannot be visited onto Mr. President. Mr. President could only fire the Officers who refused to carry his instructions. Investigation by the National Assembly who jumped the line to conduct its investigation had to conclude before Mr. President can take the necessary action.

        I took this lengthy discussion to educate you to enable you know that in everything there is a process which has to be followed to attain favourable result just like your body which is also a system which has many process to make you leave properly and any short cut the danger is obvious.

    • emmanuel

      How come all heads of the Agencies kept pointing the direction of the President?
      Please note, that the only way the Accountant General of the Federation would pay N22 million to a staff from the account is through the Finance Minister or the President. In this case, the Finance Minister did not hear about such payment.
      If the President was not involved, the Accountant General should have been made to resign since the scandal broke out, but none of that has happened. Not even a memo from the President for him to explain.

  • Otile

    Somehow Kalamity Kemi looks like a sibling of Maina. A closer look at their photos will convince one that the two Buhari money handlers are genetically linked. This explains why one Nigeria has many financial worries.

  • emmanuel

    It is easy to know how the information got leaked to the public. “To cover myself, i will refuse to release his letter, if you people insist on recalling him, since everyone of you including the oga at the top is involved” So the media had to know and that was it.
    If you like, ask why the HOS did not do certain things. The truth is the only source in the midst of the cabal was the public. So the public should handle it, it is your issue.
    Madam has played smart as an experienced civil servant and she held on to her authority.