Maina leaks 2015 letter to Saraki, says N3tn pension stolen in 97 Agencies
Embattled former Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, has leaked his letter to Senate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki, alleging that over N3 trillion pension fund was stolen in 97 pension offices.
Maina, in the letter dated June 19, 2015, which he wrote shortly after his return to the country, was seeking a review of his case and a probe of the various actions taken against him by people bent on intimidating him to submission.
He accused the 7th Senate of aiding and abetting those he described as pension thieves in the country.
The letter was titled: Pension Reform Task Team: Appeal for Review of Investigation by Senate Joint Committee on Establishment and Public Service and States and Local Government Administration 2011 – 2013.
He said in the letter, which was obtained by The Guardian in Kaduna yesterday that the task team, which took off effectively in January 2011, saved the country N1.6 trillion from pension thieves.
“We used financial intelligence skills to achieve ground-breaking achievements in our assignment. We recovered and saved cash and properties worth over N1.6 trillion,” he added.
Maina noted that the team’s efforts led to the arrest of 46 persons and firms involved in looting of pension funds, which were handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), whose trial was still ongoing.
The over N3 trillion said to be hidden in the 97 government agencies, waiting to be retrieved was as at 2015. The letter also indicated that the pension boss resurfaced in the country shortly after the inauguration of President Muhammadu Buhari on May 29, 2015.
“We, members of Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT) wish to use this medium to apologise for our late response to reaching back to you. We had to put the issues together and source for appurtenant materials. We appreciate your understanding,” the letter reads in part.
As a refresher, the PRTT was inaugurated on June 10, 2010 by the immediate past administration of former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, with a clear mandate to restructure the Head of Service Pension Office, Police Pension Office, among others.
“We did our utmost with precision and national interests as our guiding principles. The PRTT took off effectively by January 2011. We used financial intelligence skills to achieve our assignment.
“We recovered and saved cash and properties worth over N1.6 trillion. Our efforts led to the arrest and prosecution of 46 persons/firms involved in looting of pension funds, which we handed to the EFCC. The trials are still ongoing.
“As it is, there is a leakage of N256 billion monthly from the current IPPIS which needs to be blocked urgently. We are also aware of some government’s hidden accounts, which needed to be mopped up. We can be used to engage any department of government in sanitising the financial workflow to avoid loose ends that remain susceptible to leakages,” the letter stated.
It also said that based on the revelations of monumental fraud and outright stealing of pension funds, which was brought to public attention by the PRTT, the 7th National Assembly by a resolution of November 2, 2011 mandated its Committee on Establishment and Public Service, State and Local Government Administration, to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the management and administration of Pension funds in Nigeria.
“There was general expectation that the various dimensions of irregularities associated with the management of Pension funds in Nigeria would come to an end as a consequence of the investigations being conducted by the Senate Joint Committee,” it added.
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