Mr. Lawal Daura, the Director General of the Department of State Services (DSS), in a statement on Thursday, revealed that he advised Mr. Abubakar Malami, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, to meet with Mr. Abdulrasheed Maina, the wanted former Chairman of the Presidential Pension Task Reform.
The DSS boss made the revelation while giving his submission to the House of Representatives Ad-Hoc Committee investigating Maina’s controversial reinstatement into civil service.
“The attorney general of the federation sometime in 2016 or 2015 (can’t remember the exact day) because it was not through a formal document, placed a call to me when he was outside the country and requested me on a request he got through a source that Maina wanted to meet him.”
“He wanted me to advise him whether to agree to see Maina or not in that foreign country.”
“I responded to the attorney general that he should accept to see Maina but he should not see him alone”
“He should see him with a third party,” Mr. Daura said.
According to Daura, Malami met with Maina in presence of a third party.
Regarding DSS protection of Maina, Daura said that the wanted Pension fugitive had approached the service with a letter alleging threat to his life and consequently requested for protection.
He added that after scrutinizing the letter and fears expressed by Mr. Maina, it was established that it was true. Hence the reason why DSS is protecting him.
“Because of the right to life which is guaranteed by our constitution universally recognized, Maina’s case was directed to be looked into so as not to allow his life to be in jeopardy.” Daura said
Mr. Daura added that no security or anti-graft agency including the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), wrote the DSS seeking Maina’s arrest, adding that his department however has nothing to do with his reinstatement into civic service.
There’s no record that Maina traveled abroad since September 2013
Mr. Mohammed Babandede, the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), however stated that there was no record that Maina traveled outside Nigeria since September 2013.
According to Babandede, while speaking on Thursday at the hearing, he noted that any trip made by Maina since the said date was illegally and clandestinely made, as the NIS has no record of it.
The NIS boss also noted that Maina has dual citizenship of Nigeria and the United States of America.
Mr. Maina who was sacked in 2013 by the administration of Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan for allegedly diverting billions of public funds, was believed to have fled to Dubai, until his reinstatement and promotion by the President Muhammadu Buhari’s government in 2017.
“We have checked our records and we have not seen a single name of Maina pass through our airports since 2013 when he was blocked; so the record available to us shows that Maina has not been travelling, he said
“If he has been travelling, then it means he has not been travelling through an airport we can see. By law, if you pass through a border you are entitled to report to an immigration officer. So if Maina has been travelling from 2013 till date, we don’t know. If he has been passing through borders he has not reported to an immigration officer. As far as we are concerned, Maina has not been travelling since 2013,” Mr. Babandede added.
“We knew about Maina from 27 September 2013 when he was leaving the country and he was stopped at the Murtala Mohammed international airport because of the letter from EFCC.
“Prior to that time, Maina was never in our stop list. He has been a frequent traveller across airports. He has 3 passports. An official passport which has expired and has not being renewed; a standard passport which is currently valid till 2018 and an American passport.
“So in an addition to being a citizen of Nigeria, he is also a citizen of America. He has a valid U.S. passport which will be expiring on 26 August 2022.”
“On December 1st 2015 the EFCC gave us a letter directing us to remove his name from the stop list, which we removed. But when the case of Maina started and a directive was given by the president that he should be probed, we blocked his name again in our stop list. We blocked all his passports which means he cannot reissue his passport any longer and he cannot pass through our recognised borders.”