By Sam ADEGBE, Abuja
Chairman of the Senate Joint Committee on States and Administration, Senator Kabiru Gaya may be in trouble with his colleagues for misleading them into taking a stance on members of the defunct Presidential Task Team on Pension Reforms, who were wrongly accused of stealing N195 billion. Senators after reading Gaya’s interview in one of the National Dailies recently where he admitted that the money his committee alleged was stolen by the task team Chairman, Abdulrasheed Maina, was not actually stolen but forms part of the money President Buhari says is lodged in the treasury single Account, TSA. According to his colleagues, the attention of the senate must be called to such grievous errors caused by a lopsided handling of oversight functions by its own committee, so as to save those who may have suffered as a result. This is even as former Chairman of the defunct Presidential Task Team On Pension Reforms, Abdulrasheed Maina has reopened arguments on his innocence over the alleged plunder of N195 Billion from recoveries made by his committee, following recent revelations by the Senate Committee Chairman, Kabiru Gaya, to the effect that, the money was never siphoned as such, but forms part of funds currently saved in the treasury Single Account, TSA,. Maina who spoke to newsmen in Abuja said members of the task team deserve an apology from the Nigerian senate for smearing their names, and particularly from Senator Kabiru Gaya for telling lies against them and from the Federal Government for concealing the facts about the matter, even when they know the team members were innocent. Maina said, his case is more grievous as none of the members of his team suffered any form of public odium like him, having been singled out for persecution because of the lies told about him by the senator, for which he was forced out of his job, and maligned severally over an issue that never existed. “I was singled out and I suffered so much as A result of the false allegation”, he insisted, saying, nothing short of an apology and
adequate compensation for all his sufferings can address his anger against a system he served dedicatedly all his life. According to Abdulrasheed Maina, it is really sad that the same man (Kabiru Gaya), who told the whole world that I stole N195 billion has come out to say that the money is intact in Buhari’s TSA account in the CBN, he must pay for destroying my character, integrity and the loss of my job. I was being haunted all around, and people who had confidence in me thought otherwise of me”, he lamented. According to the pension czar who has been avoiding public attention since he was alleged to have been instrumental to the fraud of N195 billion, the last has not yet been heard from him as he will pursue justice, even though he has suffered enough for no cause. Maina told newsmen in Abuja last Sunday that, Senator Kabiru Gaya and the Nigerian senate should have the courage to apologize to Nigerians and particularly to those they wrongly accused of stealing the n195Billion, as people have been scandalized by their action and their reputations put at stake because of the lousy manner the senate committee handled its oversight functions. The Nigeria accountability forum, NAF, had earlier stated in a release that Kabiru Gaya may be dragged to court should he fail to apologize to Maina and members of the Task Team, who he along with another senator Aloysius Etuk had maligned in the clumsy manner the misguided the Nigerian Senate into destroying the character of Abdulrasheed Maina in particular.