Former Head of Civil Service of the Federation Stephen Oronsaye has given more insights into how the embattled Abdulrasheed Maina was appointed as the head of the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reform (PTFPR).
It will be noted that his secret reabsorption into the civil service after he was dismissed in 2013 has been a major topic of discussion.
It will also be recalled that he was in 2015, arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), over corruption charges to the tune of N2 billion.
Maina, however, fled the country before the trial prompting the issuance of an arrest warrant against him, and his listing on INTERPOL’s Red Notice.
To the chagrin of many, he recently reappeared, reappointed and promoted as acting director of Human Resources at the Ministry of Interior, retrospectively with outstanding allowance over N22 million allegedly paid to him.
Oronsaye’s statement of witness made to EFCC investigators, revealed that Maina got the pension task on the recommendation of his aide.
According to him, “Maina came on board to head the pension task team from a recommendation by my then Special Assistant, Mr Ayo Otepola who saw Maina as intelligent. He, Maina, was to head the team to carry out a biometric exercise for civil service pensioners under the office of head of service.”
He claimed that Maina, however, went beyond his brief – changing the designation of his committee and expanding the scope of the team’s assignment.
The former head of service noted that the pension reform task “was to be a once and for all exercise and facilities were to be set up in the office of the head of service to capture all outstanding.”
The former Head of Service also told investigators that he knew of the name change of Maina’s team to “presidential task force” but added that he was unaware “how the change came about.”
He also noted that though he constituted the team as the then Head of Service, he retired from service “before the conclusion of the exercise by the pension task team.”
“I am told by the investigators that about N5 billion worth of contracts were supposedly awarded and monies paid out. This was between 1st January 2009 till May 2010,” the retired civil servant wrote. He, however, denied wrongdoing.