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Buhari And Maina’s Reinstatement: What Is Malami Up To? By Ifeanyi Izeze

November 21, 2017

If filters from the submission by the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, to the Senate Committee probing the reinstatement of the fugitive former Chairman of Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, are real, then some people in government may just have completely lost their sense of ignominy.

If filters from the submission by the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, to the Senate Committee probing the reinstatement of the fugitive former Chairman of Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, are real, then some people in government may just have completely lost their sense of ignominy.

How do you reconcile that people in positions of trust in this administration carry on as if this country solely belongs to them? Deliberately, they do the wrong things without any qualms and, as if that’s not enough, they also go all out to rationalize what to an average normal human being would be a clear aberration.

Hear Malami’s narrative to the senate committee: Yes, Maina is a fugitive but we did had a meeting in Dubai during President Buhari’s visit to the UAE and he was able to convince me that not only would it cost the federal government about N2.5 billion if we lose the case he instituted against us but he also gave me crucial information that allowed us to recover hundreds of millions of Naira; that was in the public’s interest. Also, it was revealed how former President Jonathan channeled N5 billion of pension funds every month for himself through Maina.

Do you see the man Nigeria has as its Chief Law Officer? Public’s interest to recover hundreds of millions when the accused himself set up the company to get the money in the first place and was wanted for offenses running into over N100 billion? All hail my country!

The AGF’s account actually got me so twisted and distracted that it became more sane to just forget all that the man who initially stole and ran away might have done and focus on the phantom N5 billion a month presidential servicing tale.

Imagine the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), meeting and negotiating with a fugitive on the run from justice in his country? What kind of a country is Nigeria? How can anyone rationalize that our chief law officer knew Maina was wanted; he knew where to find him; but decided to make a mockery of Interpol’s red notice for him? If Malami was able to see Maina, why was Interpol not able to get him (Maina) arrested and brought to Nigeria?

The Attorney General of the Federation secretly met and entered into a “business deal” with a Nigerian fugitive hiding from Interpol; and subsequently maneuvered the fugitive’s covert return without notifying either the Interpol and/or maybe the EFCC! Why did the Attorney General even meet Maina in Dubai given the fact that such association would scandalize the Buhari administration as it eventually did? We really need to be more serious as a country.

Does Malami make any sense? You claimed to have recovered looted funds from Maina which is an admission that you knew Maina was corrupt as alleged yet you wrote to head of service that such a looter be reinstated and promoted. Do these people think they are talking to fools?

Let’s look at the narrative: a wanted criminal, as alleged, sought audience in Dubai with top officials of the government in power and Ibrahim Mugu, the EFCC boss and the Inspector General of Police who purportedly  placed the suspect on Interpol radar were in the same presidential entourage but were not alerted. The wanted fugitive finally held consultation with the AGF (the nation’s chief law officer) in presence of the National Security Adviser (NSA) and both plotted the reinstatement of the fugitive without clearance from the President. The fugitive was smuggled into the country and reinstated with promotion in the Ministry of Interior and the minister, Dambazau did not complain. Then when Nigerians raged against the opprobrium, the President "ordered" the sack of the fugitive without ordering his arrest. Up Nigeria!

Is it not glaring that President Muhammadu Buhari reinstated Maina using the AGF and the Minister of Interior? Is it possible for that level of call for reinstatement to get accomplished without superior directives from the Presidency? Look at it: which official could have the power to direct security agencies not to arrest a wanted criminal for months if not the President?

Truth be told, just because of the same mindset of owning the country, Buhari and his men never knew the decision of reinstating and promoting the fugitive pension fund scammer would cause the kind of outrage it did which was why he ordered the sack of the man as sacrifice but not without the caveat of also not ordering his arrest.

If not for a congratulatory message for Mr. Maina by a group called League of ‘Civil Society Organisations’ which commended the federal government for the reinstatement and promotion, nobody would even have known that the same man on Interpol and EFCC red alerts had resumed work with a promotion even. Chai Nigeria!!

No doubt, from the very beginning, the whole idea of reinstating the fugitive Maina was planned in Dubai during Buhari’s visit and the president was aware. The idea of alleging a N5 billion monthly servicing for the former president was merely to divert attention into creating an impression of fighting corruption which they have discovered is the only language that makes some Nigerians lose their sense of judgment over the present administration

Instead of coming clean on how Maina was reinstated, they are churning out all kinds of tales including how former President Jonathan attempted to assassinate Maina as he was leaving the Presidential Villa after an evening appointment to cover up the role of the former president in the pension fraud. Why is our attention being deliberately diverted from how Maina was surreptitiously reinstated? Have we become so naive that we are allowing ourselves to be fooled by the diversionary hoax being churned out to cover up the roles of the AGF and his cohorts?

As aptly asked by one of my colleagues in his comment on the reinstatement scandal, why didn’t Maina tell Nigerians at the onset of the scandal that he was giving former President Jonathan five billion naira every month? And these revelations are coming through the Attorney General Abubakar Malami. Is Malami Maina’s spokesman? Abeg make una go sit down for ground jorrr!

Ifeanyi Izeze writes from Abuja. You can reach him at [email protected].