Former chairman of the Pension Reform Taskforce Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, has denied that he was on the run.
Reacting to a report which mentioned him among some Nigerians who fled abroad since President Muhammadu Buhari assumed office, Maina, who said he has been in his Apo Legislative Quarters, Abuja, admitted that, though he was wrongly accused of stealing N195 billion by a Senate Committee on pension probe, he has no cause to go into hiding.
“As the former chairman of the task force team whose membership includes EFCC, ICPC, NIA, DSS, Office of Head of Service, Auditor-general, Accountant-General of the federation, Public Complaints Commission? Pensioners Association etc., I was targeted for persecution because I stood my grounds against siphoning and sharing pensioners’ funds. My committee was committed to the cause of the poor pensioners. We worked tirelessly and we achieved the needed result,” he said.
He said he was a victim of truth, as he was punished for standing on the side of Nigerians instead of the interest of the few powerful persons siphoning and sharing pension funds.
“Even after my forceful exit, pensioners have been clamouring for my return. Why? Because I served their interest. My vindication came through Sen. Kabiru Gaya, who co-chaired the pension probe committee, which accused only me instead of the entire members of the task force and recommended my sack. Remember that I headed to the Federal High Court in April 2013 and got a judgment against the Seventh Senate, Senate Committee, Civil Service Commission, Police and HOS… My vindication actually came from God as I have nothing to hide,” he said.
He said powerful forces were behind media attacks on him, insisting that he remains resolute in clearing his name of any wrong doing.
According to him, “Nigerians have known the truth, and I am being celebrated for standing against corruption. The media should also be celebrating me rather than joining forces with anti-Nigeria elements to smear my name. I have no case to answer.”
Maina admitted that his committee recommended the prosecution of 42 people involved in pension looting. Also he said his committee recovered N1.6 trillion for the Federal Government in 2012.