Human rights lawyer and activist, Femi Falana, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to prosecute all those involved in the reinstatement of former chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reform Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, to the public service.
In a statement on Sunday, Falana called on the President to act with promptness, as according to him those involved in the conspiracy have put his administration to shame.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, said the reinstatement of Maina and payment of his salary arrears, eroded the credibility of the anti-corruption fight of the Buhari administration and “exposed the country to ridicule before the comity of nations”.
“Completely dissatisfied with the sudden removal of Mr. Abdulrasheed Maina from the public service of the federal government, his family has accused of the Buhari administration of official hypocrisy and betrayal,” Falana said.
“In view of the revelation of the family which has not been denied it is crystal clear that the highly placed officials of the federal government who brought Mr. Abdulrasheed Maina back to the country, gave him a clean bill of health, provided him with necessary security, reinstated him, promoted him and paid his arrears of salaries and allowances totalling N22 million deliberately set out to subvert the anti-corruption policy of the Buhari administration.
“It is the height of insensitivity to pay arrears of salaries to a fugitive at a time when hundreds of thousands of workers and pensioners are owed arrears of their legitimate emoluments.
“Through such demonstration of official impunity the officials involved have exposed the country to ridicule before the comity of nations.”
Falana said the INTERPOL will find it difficult to believe there was no conspiracy behind Maina’s return back to the country and reinstatement.
“Having found Maina and exonerated him why was Interpol not informed that he was no longer wanted to stand trial for his role in the unprecedented pension fraud? Since Mr. Maina’s necessary security provided by the State Security Service has not been withdrawn why is the federal government requesting the Interpol to declare him wanted again?” he asked.
“Will Interpol believe that a man who was provided with necessary security cannot be found by the federal government?
“Why is the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission asking Nigerians to assist in searching for the fugitive?
“Although the federal government has promised not to sweep the Mainagate under the carpet the handling of the monumental scandal so far eroded the credibility of the anti-corruption crusade of the Buhari administration.
“Therefore, the sanctions which the federal government will mete out to all the officials who conspired to expose the administration and the nation to such avoidable shame will make or mar the fight against corruption and impunity which is the cornerstone of the domestic and foreign policy thrust of the administration.
“Time is certainly not on the side of President Buhari!”