Mainagate: Senate Lied, No 222 Properties – EFCC

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has said that the Senate lied when it said the commission shared 222 pension properties recovered by the Abdulrasheed Maina’s Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms Committee.
Senate Chairman of the committee to look into Maina reinstatement, Senator Emmanuel Paulker, alleged on Thursday that the EFCC shared the recovered assets.
Paulker said: “The Senate further observed that the EFCC, as a member of the Maina-led pension tax force team, had the statutory powers to impound and take custody of assets.
“The Senate is alarmed that the total recovered assets from alleged pension thieves are reported to be allegedly shared by some interest groups.
“The Senate further notes that this revelation emerged during the current investigation by the ad hoc committee on the reinstatement of Maina and the committee equally received a petition on the recovered properties by the task force.”
Paulker therefore urged the lawmakers to expand the scope of the investigation and give the panel more time to carry out the exercise.
Also speaking before an investigative panel of the House of Representatives set up to probe the Maina saga, Thursday, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, alluded to the fact assets recovered from pension thieves have been relooted.
The AGF said Nigerians were “blind folded” from getting answers to the following two pertinent questions: “a. What happened to the monies recovered from the syndicate?
“B. What about the 270 properties comprising of real estate and vehicles one of which is a mansion worth N1bn situated at No 42 Gang Street Maitama Abuja allegedly given to a senior lawyer meant to crave for his “buy in” in maximizing media hype aimed at distracting the attention at the public pension fraud?
He said there was perceived compromises in the investigation, prosecution and charges of real syndicate over the pension related matters.
The AGF said answers to the above questions were necessary to get to the root of the scandal.
But in a swift reaction, the EFCC, in a statement issued by Wilson Uwujaren, Head, Media & Publicity, said the attention of the commission had been drawn to comments attributed to the Chairman of the Senate Ad Hoc Committee investigating the controversial reinstatement of Miana, alleging that officials of the commission shared 222 properties which Maina’s Panel seized from pension fund thieves.
“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 on the status of assets seized from suspected pension thieves; yet the committee was comfortable to scandalize 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.
“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.”
The EFCC said in view of the consistent display of public ignorance about the profile of recovered assets by even those who should know, it was important to state that it was impossible for anybody to share a property that was subject of interim forfeiture 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,” it stated.

Author: News Editor

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