The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has called for the immediate suspension of those suspected of complicity in reinstating Mr. Abdulrasheed Maina, former Head of Pension Task Team back to civil service.
NANS’s President, Chinonso Obasi, in a statement on Sunday in Abuja, said that such action would ensure a credible probe of all alleged parties in the scandal.
Maina had been a suspect over allegations of misappropriating N100 billion in the administration of the Pension funds while he presided over the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms. According to Obasi, revelations emanating from government circles particularly in respect to breaches of service rules, insubordination, allegations and counter allegations are embarrassing. He said that President Muhammadu Buhari was elected to clear Nigeria of corruption and impunity; hence a case of such magnitude should be taken seriously. “Just recently, a mind boggling revelation was made of how Maina was smuggled back to the civil service after almost five years of abscondment. “The elevation of Maina from Deputy Director to a Director at the Interior Ministry with evidence of official exchange of correspondence amongst many government officials is nothing but an attempt to ridicule the public image and psyche of Nigerians and the civil service system.
“As advocates of sane and corrupt free Nigeria, we make bold to ask President Muhammadu Buhari to swiftly suspend all heads of commission, extra ministerial departments and ministries involved in this sour saga.’’ The NANS president said it had become imperative for Buhari to rid his administration of those who were making mockery of his commitment to fight corruption. He said the police and the anti-graft agencies should do all they could to bring Maina to answer to the allegations and to shed light on how and why he returned to the civil service he absconded from over four years ago.
“We insist that same measures taken by the presidency in the cases involving the suspended Secretary to the Government of the Federation and the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency be meted out to everyone involved in the Mainagate. “This case should be diligently probed and prosecuted and the report should not be swept under the carpet. “To this end, we hereby issue a 7-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to act and do so with highest sense of sincerity regardless of those involved and their closeness to the corridor of power,’’ he said. Obasi said that if no action was taken at the expiration of the ultimatum, Nigerian students would be left with no option than to organise a nationwide mass action.