Activist lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN) has said that he did not buy any house from the former chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT), Abdulrasheed Maina.
He said on Tuesday in Lagos that there was no truth in the claims by Maina that he bought a PRTT recovered property from Maina.
The senior lawyer challenged Maina to produce the details of the house that he purportedly bought from him. “Which house? Where is it located? Is it in Lagos or Abuja,” he asked.
Maina, through his lawyer, Sani Katu, had in a statement issued in Kaduna on Monday alleged that the senior lawyer was a beneficiary of a recovered asset which was sold to him for N1 billion.
According to him, “it was because the lawyer was a beneficiary of the recovered assets that he has resorted to attacking him, fearing that he would be exposed.
He said, “during the assignment of the Maina Led Pension Reform Task Force Team, it recovered assets and funds worth N1.6trillion. Amongst the real Estates recovered from pension thieves is a Maitama mansion worth N1billion situated at No 42 Gana Street, Maitama Abuja.
Recently, the lawyer has been vociferous in asking for Maina’s arrest and crucifixion, because he is afraid that Maina will expose him as a party to the stealing of what Maina Team recovered assets.
He alleged that when eyebrows were raised on the transaction, the former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), then “arranged a fake scenario that one Alhaji Aliyu Abubakar, owner of AA Oil, was said to have sold the mansion to Falana at N1billion.”
But Falana, in his reaction to the issue on Tuesday contended that he did not buy any house from him, “does not know Maina and has never met him before.
“Let him give details of the house. I have never met him or had any dealings with him before. He is engaging in the reckless blackmail because I criticized the careless handling of his matter by the federal government,” he maintained.
Falana contended that some people in government must have conspired and prodded Maina to make the allegation in order to disparage his person because he advised President Muhammadu Buhari to act fast in imposing appropriate sanctions on government officials who allegedly conspired to bring back the former Chairman of the defunct PRTT back to the country and got the fugitive reinstated into the public service with promotion.
Falana said he gave the advice in order to save the Buhari administration’s anti-corruption policy, whose credibility he alleged had been eroded by the Federal Government’s handling of the Maina scandal so far.
To buttress his position, he recalled that at a time the State Security Services (SSS) declared Maina wanted and were looking for him, Maina was moving about with SSS officials assigned to provide him with security.
Maina was sacked in 2013 after he was declared wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over corruption allegations involving about N2billion pension fund.
Falana had in a statement, titled ‘President Buhari should act with dispatch on Mainagate’, on Sunday stated that the officials who aided Maina back to the country and paid the fugitive arrears of salaries and allowances totaling N22m “deliberately set out to subvert the anti-corruption policy of the Buhari administration”, adding, ““time is certainly not on the side of President Buhari!”
He had asked the Buhari administration to sanction all officials who “conspired to expose the administration and the nation to such avoidable shame,” emphasizing that sanctions imposed on them by the President would make or break the administration’s “fight against corruption and impunity.”
He noted that though the Federal Government has promised not to sweep the Mainagate under the carpet, the handling of the monumental scandal eroded the credibility of the anti-corruption crusade of the Buhari administration.
“Therefore, the sanctions which the Federal Government will mete out to all the officials who conspired to expose the administration and the nation to such avoidable shame will make or mar (sic) the fight against corruption and impunity which is the cornerstone of the domestic and foreign policy thrust of the administration,” he stated.