by Dare Lawal
The senate wants his head, the president has given up on him, the police are now on his hunt, but the embattled Pension Reform Task Team, PRTT, Chairman, Alhaji Abdulrasheed Maina, has fled the country to escape arrest, according to a report by Vanguard newspaper.
Following the directive from the president that disciplinary action be taken against him, it became clear to Maina that the game is up for him at least for now, so he is reported to have bolted to Saudi Arabia.
According to the report:
A close source to the PRTT boss, who had since been declared wanted by the police, told Vanguard that Maina left the country once it became clear to him that the Presidency, which had allegedly been shielding him, had given up on him.
The source said that with the partial withdrawal of the security men around Maina by the government, it was obvious to the PRTT boss that he should either report to the police or the Senate to clear himself over allegations of pension funds embezzlement.The source admitted: “I can tell you that Maina is not in the country as we speak. He knows very well that the game is up and there is no point for him to continue a fight he can hardly win convincingly.”
Maina in Saudi Arabia
It was learnt from reliable sources that since arriving the Islamic country, Maina had been making frantic effort to reach out to influential persons in Nigeria to come to his aid in resolving the crisis between him and the National Assembly with the Presidency.
One source said that the Presidency was no longer keen on protecting Maina based on emerging reports that he might have misled the Villa to provide him with undeserved protection and support to work against the National Assembly.
The allegation that led to the ultimatum handed down by the Senate to the Villa last week was that Maina had misappropriated billions of pension funds, which he claimed to have recovered from pension “thieves”.
The Senate committee probing Pension Funds Management under Maina accused him of mopping up pension funds from banks and depositing same in his chosen banks and making brisk business in the process while turning round to claim that he has recovered billions of Naira from thieves.
The committee pointed out that it was the mopping of funds from designated banks across the country by Maina that had made it impossible to pay thousands of pensioners across the country for months.
However, when he was summoned to appear and clear the air on the committee’s findings, Maina dodged but later instituted a N1.5 billion case against the Senate and the Inspector General of Police, who had declared him wanted following a warrant of arrest issued by the Senate President, David Mark.
But Maina’s Media aide, Hassan Salihu, said he was neither aware of Maina’s whereabouts nor what had happened to the heavy security personnel around him.
Salihu, however, tried to dispel allegations of fraud levelled against Maina, accusing the Senate of bias and hatred against his boss.