Maina: EFCC faults Senate committee on alleged recovery of 222 properties

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

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has denied ‘sharing’ any of the properties seized from alleged pension fund thieves in its custody.

The anti-graft agency also said it is not in custody of any of the said properties.

This denial followed an allegation raised by Emmanuel Paulker, chairman of Senate ad-hoc committee investigating the reinstatement of fugitive pension boss, Abdulrasheed Maina.

“The reform Maina led recovered assets from pension looters working with the EFCC, ICPC, DSS, police and paramilitary agency staff and then EFCC took charge of the recovered assets”, he said on Thursday.

“The total recovered assets seized from allegedly pension thieves were reported to have been allegedly shared by some interest groups. The committee equally received a petition in respect of the recovered properties by the task force.”

In a statement signed by its head of media and publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, EFCC faulted the senator’s claim noting that no official of the agency was invited by the Senate.

“This sweeping allegation, coming from a senate committee is disturbing more so as no attempt was made to verify the information from the commission. The EFCC was never invited by the committee and given the opportunity to educate it onthe status of assets seized from suspected pension thieves; yet the committee was comfortable to scandalise the EFCC with the public disclosure of unverified claims by unknown interests.

“For the avoidance of doubt, there are no 222 properties anywhere that were shared by anybody. The EFCC did not receive a single property from Abdulrasheed Maina. All the pension fraud assets that are in the recovered assets inventory of the commission were products of independent investigation by the EFCC, for which Maina and his cohorts had no clues. If Maina or any government official witnessed the sharing of any recovered pension assets by any official of the EFCC, they should be willing to name the official, the assets involved; when and where the ‘sharing’ took place.”

The statement noted that it is impossible for EFCC to share any property, which is a subject of interim forfeiture in court.

“As far as the EFCC is concerned, there is no controversy regarding the status of assets recovered from suspected pension thieves.The record of all the recovered assets from both the Police Pension and the Pension Office of the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation as well as their current status are intact, and have been communicated to the relevant organs of government.

“However, in view of the consistent display of public ignorance about the profile of recovered assets by even those who should know, it is important to state that it is impossible for anybody to share a property that is subject of interimforfeiture by court. Of all the properties seized from pension fraud suspects, it is only properties that are linked to John Yusuf, who was convicted under a plea bargain arrangement that had been forfeited permanently and handed to government. All the others, with the exception of Brifina Hotel, are subject of interim forfeiture. And the cases are ongoing in courts.”

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