Alleged N2.1bn pension fraud: Maina not receiving presidential treatment, visitors in Kuje ― Family

• Says he was placed under usual prison conditions

The family of former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, on Sunday, denied the allegations levelled against the latter that he was enjoying Presidential treatment and receiving visitors in Kuje Prison, saying he was placed under the usual prison conditions in an uncomfortable cell that is dilapidated.

It will be recalled that Maina, who is currently facing trial over his alleged role in N2.1 billion pension fraud, had been absent in court in the last two proceedings on alleged health issues.

A statement signed by Abdullahi Usman, for Abdulrasheed Maina’s family, a copy of which was made available to the Tribune Online in Abuja, said it was absolutely not true as several family and friends have made efforts to see him but all to no avail.

The family said it was a figment of the imagination of those who concocted the lies that Maina was receiving visitors at will.

According to the statement, “It is, in fact, a more difficult task than the usual prison processes of visiting a detained person, to gain access or be allowed to visit Maina in detention.

“It is indeed embarrassing to the person and office of the Assistant Comptroller of Kuje prison to have been falsely accused of receiving cash bribes to delay or stop presenting Maina before court with sole intention to hinder justice when the need arises as feigned by the online news medium. How and where would Maina that is not allowed visitors get cash to bribe any official, comes to every right-thinking mind because it is a blatant lie.

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“Concerning his health condition, Maina was on life support. Medication for over 15 years, you can confirm this from his medical records. Maina had survived on control drugs treatment for many years and his condition got deteriorated due to lack of access to his prescribed medications while in detention, a hereditary health condition also being faced by his son Faisal Abdulrasheed. He also suffers severe backache due to the ill-condition of his place of detention,” the family said.

The family further stated that he had spent three days in the prison hospital and was seriously indisposed to stand trial in that condition, saying the court acted rightly based on medical reports presented to it for which it moved the case further to allow him to resuscitate.

The family said: “We wish to disabuse the mind of the general public that Maina, who is surviving on support from friends and relatives since he left his position, has any money to the extent of using it to compromise witnesses through bribery. This is also an insult on the presumed witnesses to be presented before the court by his accusers.

“It shows a sense of desperation on their side. In as much as it would not be ideal to accuse his detention of being purposely done to give room to present fake witnesses to the court, it is also wrong to claim that if he is released on bail he would bribe the witnesses. Are they paid by his accusers to stand against him?

“Finally, we wish to remind the general public that Maina is only a victim of circumstance. He was in a position where a lot of people thought they could exploit and loot pensions funds which he disallowed. He is today paying the price for protecting the pension funds from looters and extorting funds termites. We, therefore, call for justice not only be done but be seen to have been done,” the family explained.

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