Legal Practitioner, Mr Jiti Ogunye, has asked the embattled former chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms, Mr Abdulrasheed Maina, to present himself before the court rather than requesting to meet with the President.
Mr Ogunye described Maina’s comments and request to meet with the president as “cock and bull stories”, as well as an attempt to evade the justice system.
He made this known on Channels Television’s Sunrise daily, in response to an exclusive interview of Maina in which he insisted that he was innocent of the allegations preferred against him.
“Maina wants to meet with Mr Presdient over what? Do we even respect our court at all? Do we respect our judicial process? Do you know that in this country, Supreme Court justices are being tried in court? Who is he to be saying that he wants to recover money?
“Present yourself, you are a fugitive from justice. Have your day in court prove your innocence there – that is the law that I know. All this talk about I want to see the president – for what? He has seen the Attorney General of the Federation and he told us that he visited Maina to the knowledge of the National Security Adviser of Nigeria”.
Mr Ogunye, speaking further about the involvement of the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, in Maina’s return and reinstatement, described the situation as a disgraceful and monumental scandal.
The AGF had denied having any involvement when he appeared before the House of Representatives ad-hoc committee, set up to investigate the case, last week.
He also gave a detailed report of recoveries made, as well as an existing pension fraud syndicate made up of politicians, legislators and retired civil servants, as well as Maina himself.
Mr Ogunye, however, stressed that “the AGF should concern himself with the role he played, whether legally, morally, ethically, even politically, it was correct for him to have played that role.
“In the course of his testimony before that committee, the AGF was forced to disclose that he visited Maina in Dubai.
“What is the business of the Attorney General of the Federation, visiting a fugitive from justice outside the shores of Nigeria,” he questioned.
“My presumption was that a deal was struck on how to bring Maina back into the country behind the back of Nigerians, reinstate him and then launder him back to service”.
According to Mr Ogunye, contrary to what Malami said, all fingers point at him as being at the centre of Maina’s reinstatement.
“What he said has been disproved by others including the head of service. According to them, he was the one who initiated, instigated and triggered the whole process by writing letters and issuing directives to the Federal Civil Service Commission.”
Giving a suggestion to the government on what should be done, he said rather than taking Maina seriously and having a sit down with him, the government should take itself seriously.
“The government should on the contrary, take Maina seriously by bringing Maina to justice,” he asserted.
Meanwehile, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Robert Clarke, who also spoke on the breakfast show, supported the idea that Maina should be given a chance to speak with President Buhari.