16 February 2013

Nigeria: Pension Scam - Maina Loses Bid to Vacate Warrant of Arrest

Abuja — Embattled Chairman, Pension Reform Task Team, PRTT, Mr. Abdulrasheed Maina, who was accused of complicity in the illegal diversion of funds meant for pensioners in the country, yesterday, lost his bid to vacate the warrant of arrest that was issued against him by the Senate just as President Jonathan ordered the Head of Service of the Federation to take disciplinary action against Maina.

Justice Adamu Bello of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, in a ruling yesterday, dismissed an ex-parte motion that was filed before him by the accused pension boss with a view to stopping the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Abubakar from arresting him.

While dismissing the motion, Justice Bello accused Maina of sabotaging the judiciary by taking an issue that is already before a court of competent jurisdiction to the public arena.

According to the judge, "By leaking the motion ex-parte to the public, he has denied this court the discretion to grant same. For the reasons stated among others, I hereby refuse the prayers by the applicant."

Maina had through his counsel, Mr. M. A Magaji, SAN, approached the court with an ex-parte application to stop the police from executing the warrant of arrest issued by the Senate.

Listed as co-Defendants in the suit were: the Senate, Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Senate President Federal Republic of Nigeria,the Clerk of the Senate, Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Senate Committee On Establishment & Public Service, the Senate Committee State & Local Govt Administration.

Meanwhile, President Goodluck Jonathan has ordered the Head of Service of the Federation to take immediate disciplinary action against the embattled Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team, Mr. Abdulrasheed Maina, for absconding from official duty without official Leave.

A statement signed by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati yesterday said the President's directive followed the submission of the report by the Inspector General of Police on efforts being made to effect the arrest of Maina in the execution of the warrant issued by the Senate.

The Senate had asked President Jonathan to sack Maina for repeatedly refusing to appear before the Senate.

The Senate also summoned the Inspector General of Police to appear before it for failing to apprehend Alhaji Maina in accordance with the warrant of arrest issued by the Senate.

The statement by Dr Abati yesterday noted that "Following his receipt from the Inspector-General of Police of a status report on efforts by the Nigeria Police to execute the warrant issued by the Senate for the arrest of the Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Force, Alhaji Abdulrasheed Maina, President Goodluck Jonathan today directed the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation to immediately commence disciplinary action against Alhaji Maina for absconding from duty.

"Section 030402 of the Federal Government's Public Service Rules lists Absence from Duty without Leave as an act of Serious Misconduct punishable by dismissal.

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