Just when Nigerians are getting over the shock of Former Petroleum Minister Diezani Alison-Madueke and the country’s funds she looted, it seems the Maina Scandal would rock the country for the rest of the year as new reports continue to evolve implicating ex-heads of commissions including the commission whose duty is to stop crime.
A document revealed a breakdown of how pension funds were shared to finance pension verification teams to ‘South Africa, ‘Ghana’, and the 36 states’ of the federation, ‘zonal levels’ and others to syphon different sums of public funds into their bank accounts in the name of biometric verification.
Out of the N18.4million released to Maina for a trip to South Africa, the Director -General of Budget was allocated N3,056,000. The per diem for the trip to Ghana cost N9.1 million out of which a former Director of Defence Intelligence received N1,388,000 through his First Bank account.
Two female staff of EFCC got N1,275,000 each as part of the national cake. While those who went around the 36 states, allegedly collected N160,471,200 from Maina, a few others were paid N15,477,900 for going around the six geopolitical zones of the country.
The report gave the details of how Maina allegedly collaborated with former Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mr Steve Oronsaye, and two others in N2billion pension funds allegedly mismanaged for biometric contracts. The N2billion was part of the looted N17billion cash. The others are Osarenkhoe Afe and Fredrick Hamilton Global Services Limited suspected as fronts. The report added: “Mr Oronsaye and Maina engaged the services of the following individuals to assist them in looting pension funds.
Osarenkhoe Afe: (charged to court together with Mr Maina & Oronsaye) is an IT consultant who introduced Innovative Solutions to the OHCSF for biometric enrolment project. He stated that Mr Steven Oronsaye [former Head of Service) asked him to join the Pension Reform Committee headed by Mr. Abudulrasheed Maina.
Robert Ikazoboh: (Prosecution witness) is the CEO of Innovative Solutions & Projects Ltd – a company invited by OHCSF to offer services regarding biometric enrolment exercise. He stated that he was brought in to the project by Osa Afe. He also stated that Mr Afe verbally instructed him to work with 2 other companies namely Uptrach and Frederick Hamilton and further instructed him as to the amount to be paid to the companies whenever he received payments.
Ahmed Mazangari: (Already charged to court): is the owner of Xangees Technologies Ltd, an information technology consultancy firm and a friend of Maina’s brother, Khalid Biu. He was ‘engaged’ by the OHCSF through Maina based on ‘word of mouth’. He was tasked with the job of computerizing the pension payroll but in the process ironically ended up inserting his own 11 fake pensioners and was used by Maina to receive N153 million for a non-existing biometric contract which was withdrawn and handed over to Maina in cash after converting same to dollars through his brother, Khalid. Ahmed, his mother and company are presently standing trial. He stole N230 million as ghost pensioners’ payment from the OHCSF (including the biometric contract).
The report gave the details of how Maina had used some firms, individuals and many accounts to siphon pension funds. The EFCC said: “Investigation revealed that Mr. Maina fictitiously owned and operate the following accounts in the following names: Cluster Logistics, Drew Investment & Construction Ltd, Kongolo Dynamics Cleaning Ltd, “Dr” Abdullahi A. Faizal, Nafisatu Aliyu Yeldu and Abdulrasheed Abdullahi Maina.
“That analysis of the above-listed accounts revealed a total turnover of more than N2.7 billion. It is important to note that 95% of deposits into the fraudulent accounts were cash deposits made by bankers in their own names and other fictitious names. “Investigation revealed that Mr Maina fraudulently opened and fictitiously operated all the accounts with the active connivance of bank staff namely: Danjuma Zubairu, Toyin Meseke (Account Officer to some of the accounts investigated), Khalid Ali Biu (Maina’s relation) and Abubakar Gombe (Account officer of one of the accounts investigated) in Kaduna Branch.
“Forensic analysis of Toyin Meseke telephone handsets revealed several text messages and email correspondences regarding specific instructions on running the accounts from Abdulrasheed Maina. “Investigation revealed that Danjuma Zubairu (Group Head of Private Banking) mostly approved those transactions via telephone and email instructions from Maina. “That Toyin Meseke bought the sum of ($200,000) equivalent of N33,800,000 from one Bashir Mohammed Taura, a Bureau de Change operator, and instructed him to facilitate the delivery of same money to Abdulrasheed Maina in Dubai, U.A.E on 05/05/2014.
“Toyin Meseke also bought another sum of $250,000) equivalent of N42,500,000) from one Bashir Mohammed Taura, a bureau de Change operator and instructed him to facilitate the delivery of same money to Abdulrasheed Maina in Dubai U.A.E on 05/06/2014. “That Toyin Meseke facilitated the transfer of the total sum of N33,105,000 to ALNASRA BDC & JIEK BDC on behalf of Abdulrasheed Maina from Cluster Logistics account for the purpose of buying U.S. dollar on 10/03/2014. “That Toyin Meseke also facilitated the part liquidation of Maina’s fixed deposit of N100,850,000 and subsequent transfer to Neural Wax BDC on 07/07/2015 for buying U.S. dollars on behalf Abdulrasheed Maina and delivered same to one Mairo Bashir (Maina’s relation) of UBA Maitama Branch Abuja.
“That the total sum N26.5 million was paid to the Federal Housing Authority from Kongolo Dynamics Ltd and a balance of N4.4 Million was paid to Alhaji Tijjani Yusuf between 20/10/08 & 19/11/08 for the purpose of buying a property located at No.12, 11th Road Kado Estate Abuja owned by Abdulrasheed Maina. “That four bank drafts totalling N30 million were issued same day (15/03/2010) in favour of one Titus Adeboye from Kongolo Dynamics Ltd account. Mr Adeboye confirmed that the fund traced to him was for the purpose of acquiring a property for Mr. Maina (block of shops) located at C2 Ibrahim Taiwo Road, Kaduna.
“That Mr Abdulrasheed Maina bought another property located at No. l0 Amisi Musa Street, Jabi Abuja FCT from one Alhaji Adamu Modibbo and paid the sum of $2m cash, an equivalent of N340 million in June 2012. “Finally investigation has established that all the accounts are linked to Mr. Maina either through his phone number, email address or transactions between the accounts and testimonies of the account officers/ bankers involved in this complex money laundering scheme. “A total number of eight GSM lines have been traced by the EFCC as the ones used by Maina to give instructions to banks, cronies and associates to launder the huge amount under investigation.
The numbers were listed by the anti-graft agency as 08098887733, 08037872471, 08142277550, 07037900714, 08106842813, 08091501002, +971552717234 and +971526294678. “Furthermore investigation also confirmed that the source of funds in the accounts could only be from those fictitious contracts and other bogus payments from government, particularly OHCSF Pension Department and CIPPO where Maina superintended at various times between 2008 and 2013, as no known existing and viable business was identified as source of funds into the account and the account officers confirmed same. “It is also pertinent to note that the Special Audit conducted by the Auditor-General of the Federation also confirmed those violations investigated by the commission.”
Those standing trial for the pension fraud in the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation are Oronsaye; Maina; the Director of Finance and Account, Dr. Sani Shuaibu Teidi, Mrs. Phina Ukamaka Chidi, Deputy Director, Aliyu Bello, Special Assistant to Director of Administration, Olanipekun Emmanuel, Head of Final Account, Abdul Mohammed, Assistant Cash Pay Officer, Garbo Tahir, Cashier and M.K. Ahmed, Assistant Director, Variation. Others charged for abetting laundering are Osarenkhoe Afe; Fredrick Hamilton Global Services Limited; Franklin Nwankwo and Eric D. Omoefe; one Abdullahi Omeiza (charged for his role in operating 13 pension accounts in 13 different banks with 13 different names; Alhaji Ali Abatcha and Elder Actor Zal, former President and Secretary General of the Nigerian Union of Pensioners.”