#MainaGate: EFCC Responds To Claims It Shared Assets
This is our own side of the story, the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) seems to be saying.
It has dismissed claims that its officials received assets from the embattled former Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team, Mr Abdulrasheed Maina, and shared it.
In a statement on Thursday, the chairman of the commission, Mr Ibrahim Magu, said "the EFCC has no record of any collaboration between it and Maina-led Pension Reform Task Team in investigation of pension fraud.
"Maina did not hand over a single asset, supposedly recovered from pension fraud suspects, to the Commission".
He insisted that the officials of the commission could not have shared what never existed.
"Those who claim there was ‘sharing’ of assets are at liberty to state which assets were ‘shared’, when ‘sharing’ took place, who supervised ‘sharing’ and who got what," Magu further demanded.
The EFCC boss explained that all the assets recovered from pension fraud suspects were products of EFCC's independent investigation and that they were recovered from suspects of pension fraud in both Police Pension and the Pension Office of the Office of Head of the Civil Service of the Federation.
Magu added that Maina was still under investigation by the EFCC for fraud and money laundering, describing him as the "arrow head of complex web of illicit deals that saw hundreds of millions of pension funds allegedly ending up in his private pockets".
Maina has denied any wrong doing, insisting that he is innocent of the allegations.
He had asked for an opportunity to prove his innocence, promising that he could help Nigeria recover up to 3 trillion Naira if given an opportunity to go after the funds.
The man whose reinstatement triggered criticisms against the current administration's fight against corruption had claimed he was cleared by security agencies (which he did not name) before he got his job back.
The EFCC's clarifications on the recoveries made is coming barely a week after a Senate ad hoc committee set up to investigate Maina’s controversial reinstatement indicted the anti-graft agency, claiming that property seized from the alleged pension fund thieves have been kept in the custody of the agency.
Defending its officials, the EFCC in different tweets on Twitter listed the recoveries made.
"Suspects investigated in the Police Pension fraud from whom assets were seized include: Atiku Kigo, Esai Dangabar, Ahmed Inuwa Wada, Veronica Oyegbula, Uzuoma Cyril Attang, Sani Habila Zira, John Yusuf and their associated companies.
"Those from whom properties were recovered are Shaibu Teidi, Phina Chidi, Abdul Mohammed, Emmanuel Olanipekun, Aliyu Bello and their associated companies. Only assets recovered from John Yusuf convicted under a plea bargain have been permanently forfeited to FG.
"Assets both under interim forfeiture and final forfeiture are being managed in transparent arrangement put in place by Assets Forfeiture Dept of EFCC. Etudo and Co. Estate Surveyors and Valuers a reputable estate management firm was engaged to manage the assets.
"Assets recovered from Essai Dangabar are being managed by Court Registrar based on Court Order.
"The proceeds of rent on the properties that had successfully been let out by the firm are fully documented and available in the recovery account of the EFCC.
"Cash element of recoveries is also carefully documented and stands at N2.886 billion Naira $3.017 million and €3,385.40; 16.185 billion Naira recovered from an illegal account in an old generation bank has since been remitted to office of the HoS," the tweets read