The family of fugitive ex-Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms, Abdulrasheed Maina, on Wednesday rose to his defence, saying he is not a fraudster but a messiah engaged by government to cleanse the Nigerian Pension Scheme.
Addressing journalists in Kaduna, the spokesperson of the family, Aliyu Maina, said the controversy surrounding the fugitive is the handiwork of ‘cabals’ bent on tarnishing the image of the family.
He said the President Muhammadu Buhari administration facilitated the return of Mr. Maina to Nigeria so as to assist in its change agenda.
He insisted that the ‘cabals’ were merely out to tarnish the image of Mr. Maina in the media and that the family was in possession of facts that would expose the motive of the “cabals”.
“You must have noticed the recent attempt by some cabals to ridicule and tarnish the image of the Maina family in the media,” the spokesperson was quoted as saying by Punch Newspapers.
“Where our brother, father, and uncle has been blackmailed as a fraudster (sic). The cabals have gone to the extent of marking our houses with red paints with the inscription of ‘EFCC under investigation’.
“The entire family of Abdullahi Maina is hereby categorically stating that our son is not in any way a fraudster, rather, he is a messiah who brought remarkable reforms into the Nigerian Pension Scheme, whose efforts saw the disappearance of pensioners roaming the streets of the FCT and other states.
“It is on record that Abdulrasheed Maina’s reforms put a stop to the fraudulent withdrawal of huge sums from both the Nigerian Pension Board and the Nigerian Police Pension Board.”
PREMIUM TIMES exclusively reported how Mr. Maina was secretly recalled into the Federal Civil Service and promoted to the post of Director at the Ministry of Interior.
The public outcry generated by the report prompted President Buhari to direct the immediate dismissal of Maina and an investigation of his recall.
A statement by presidential spokesperson, Femi Adesina, said Mr. Buhari had ordered “immediate disengagement of Mr Abdulrasheed Maina from service,” and a probe into the circumstances of Mr. Maina’s return.