The controversial Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT), Mr Abdulrasheed Maina arrived at the Senate yesterday afternoon around 2.30pm and almost caused a row in the committee room as reporters and other people present scurried to catch a glimpse of him.
However, the Senate Committee on Establishment and Public Service and States and Local Government Administration refused to acknowledge his presence.
The committee had on Wednesday mandated the Inspector-General of Police Mohammed Abubakar to produce Maina alive or dead by 11am the next day.
After waiting for him for 3 hours, the committed started sitting around 2pm.
The Chairman of the committee, Senator Aloysius Etok, apologized for the delay, blaming it on official bottlenecks.
He recognized invitations organizations present but lamented the absence of Maina. Hence, he said the committee had been patient with Maina just to give him a fair hearing and then adjourned the proceedings to 2.30pm.
Immediately the hearings were adjourned, Maina walked into the committee room surrounded by operatives of the State Security Services, SSS.
A visibly angry Senator Etok then circulated a second arrest warrant for Maina, signed by Senate President David Mark and the Clerk of the Senate, Mr Ben Efeturi, which read thus:
“Pursuant to the powers conferred by Section 89 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), a warrant is hereto issued by the President, Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, for the arrest and compelling of attendance of Alhaji Abdulrasheed Maina of the Customs, Immigration, Prisons and Pension Office (CIPPO).”Maina should be produced by the Nigeria Police before the Joint Committee on the Investigation of Pension Funds on Wednesday, December 19, 2012 at 12 noon, at the National Assembly Complex, Abuja.
“This warrant is to be executed by the Nigeria Police.”
After the circulation of the warrant of arrest, the committee members ignored the presence of Maina and left the hall.
However, Maina told reporters that he is not under any arrest, as he was in the Senate to clear his name of allegations of fraud, adding that he has the highest respect for the Senate.
He said: “But if there are some elements of bias, they have to be considered and looked into.
“They are talking about 2005. I was not there in 2005, so they could not have been talking about me.
“If members of the committee claimed to have uncovered a fraud of N195 billion, they should tell Nigerians how and where.
“Through our investigation, we have caused the seizure of some property. We have recovered billions of naira for the Federal Government. Some suspects are under trial. All these things are on record. I have no reason to disobey the Senate.”