Arrested Maina likely for trial over N2bn contract

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After a four-year manhunt, fugitive former Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team, AbdulRasheed Maina, has been arrested.

He was picked up by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) at a hotel in Abuja after he sneaked into the country from his Dubai, United Arab Emirates base, it was learnt last night.

Sources hinted that the DSS might hand him over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for trial over a questionable N2billion biometrics contract.

Explaining how he was arrested, they said the DSS acted on intelligence alert which led to Maina’s arrest.

“Following inter-agency collaboration, intelligence report indicated that Maina had sneaked into the country from Dubai.

“He was trailed to an Abuja hotel where he was arrested after operatives outwitted those who tried to ferry him away in a bullet-proof vehicle.

“He is currently being quizzed. He is likely to be handed over to the EFCC for trial. He has a pending case since 2015.”

Maina was on July 21, 2015 charged alongside Oronsaye, Osarenkhoe Afe and Fredrick Hamilton Global Services Limited before a Federal High Court on a 24-count charge bordering on procurement fraud and obtaining by false pretense.

Although some godfathers tried to smuggle him into the country and attempted to reinstate him to office, the process backfired.

The EFCC in 2017, declared Maina wanted, following his refusal to honour the commission’s invitations.

But in his bid to evade the long arm of the law, Maina, on September 5, 2018, in a suit no: FHC/ABJ/CS/957/2918, asked the court to decide whether the Commission can lawfully exercise powers of declaring him wanted, either on its official website or any other media platform, or “harass him.”

Justice Folasade Giwa Ogunbanjo of the Federal High Court restrained the anti- graft commission from declaring Maina wanted.

She also gave an order of perpetual injunction, restraining the EFCC and its affiliates or related bodies from further declaring Maina wanted in relation to the issue of the pension scam.

The EFCC said the judgment must not be allowed to stand and filed an appeal at the Court of Appeal.

Spokesman for DSS, Dr. Peter Afunaya, did not respond to a message sent to him by our correspondent.

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