Wanted pension reform boss accuses police of abuse

Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar

The embattled Chairman of the Pensions Reform Task Team, Alhaji Abdulrasheed Maina, has described the action of the police in declaring him wanted as an abuse of power in a democracy.

Maina said the police were being used by pension thieves as an instrument of oppression against national interest.

According to him, the conviction of an Assistant Director in the Police Pensions Office, John Yakubu Yusufu, by Justice Abubakar Talba of an Abuja High Court has made some highly-placed pension thieves jittery, that the jittery among the thieves must have been responsible for the police action.

Maina, in a statement which he personally signed and made available to The PUNCH on Sunday in Abuja, said since he had not been invited by the police, it was not right for them to have declared him wanted.

He said, “I wish to let the people of Nigeria know that the purported declaration by the Nigeria Police that I am wanted is coming to me as a surprise. First of all, I am a law abiding citizen of this nation, who respects institutions and will not do anything, anytime to denigrate any constituted authority.

“However, I state unequivocally that the said declaration by the Nigeria Police is definitely an abuse of power in a democracy.”

The PRTT boss said there was no time he was invited, either verbally or in writing by the Nigeria Police for any reason whatsoever.

He stated, “Why the said declaration? I have useful addresses where such invitations could have been directed. It is only after such invitation has been dishonored that an order for my arrest can  be employed. Where the arrest is resisted the police can then go ahead to declare me wanted.

“I am available to answer any question from the Police anytime if I am invited, not when I am declared wanted as if I am a felon. A simple SMS, telephone call or letter is enough to make me honour the police invitation for questioning.”

Maina added that the action of the police to have declared him wanted was definitely wrapped in some motives beyond the ordinary responsibilities of the force.

“I am not a criminal to be declared wanted just like that. If by virtue of the fact that I and members of the PRTT have served our fatherland as gallant officers of the various security organisations we represent has made us criminals, thus, declaring me as the head wanted, especially after securing the conviction of the first of the pension thieves we had investigated, prosecuted and got sentenced, then, God should save Nigeria,” he said.

The Senate had on December 13, 2012, issued a warrant of arrest, mandating the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, to arrest and produce Maina before the Senate joint committee on the investigation of pension fund.

The police said the suspect had since gone into hiding, making it difficult for them to execute the warrant.

Consequently, the IG directed all Assistant Inspectors-General of Police in-charge of zonal commands and state Commissioners of Police to search for the PRTT chairman.