The International Police Organisation (INTERPOL) has issued a “Red Notice” on ex-Pension Reform Task Team Chairman, Mr. Abdulrasheed Maina, who is believed to be currently out of the country.
This declaration authorises the arrest of Maina in any part of the world by relevant security agencies.
A statement by the Head of Media and Publicity at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, says Maina is wanted for his alleged role in the fraudulent biometric contracts, in which he and ex-Head of Service, Steve Oronsaye, and two others allegedly mismanaged over N2 billion pension funds.
Maina was on July 21, 2015, charged alongside Oronsaye, Osarenkhoe Afe and Fredrick Hamilton Global Services Limited at the Federal High Court on a 24-count of procurement fraud and obtaining by false pretence.
Whereas Oronsaye and two others appeared in Court and pleaded not guilty, Maina was absent.
However, onÂ July 21Â when the Court heard the bail applications presented by the accused, Maina through his counsel, Esther Uzoma, told the Court that he was not at large, claiming that he was never invited by the EFCC. Despite his excuse, Maina has since not appeared for trial.
Reports differ as to his whereabouts. While some say he is in the United Arab Emirates, others claim Maina is still in the country.
Since his whereabouts is unknown, the EFCC decided to prompt and seek the assistance of the INTERPOL in tracking him down.
It was learnt from a top source in EFCC that the INTERPOL issued the notice, which would make his arrest possible in any part of the world.
The source said, “The INTERPOL has issued a world-wide red alert on Maina. The notice is based on a request from the EFCC, which on November 18, 2015, wrote to the Inspector-General of Police, Solomon Arase, seeking his assistance “to issue an INTERPOL Red Alert” on Maina, who was charged to the Federal High Court on July 10, 2015.
“In a response to the anti-graft agency’s request, Olushola Subair, commissioner of Police, INTERPOL, in a letter dated January 11, 2016, addressed to the Chairman, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, informed the agency that its request had been processed and a notice duly issued by the INTERPOL.
The letter reads: “Be informed that the Bureau has taken necessary action on the wanted fugitive as requested by the INTERPOL General Secretariat, Lyon, France. He has been published on the INTERPOL Red Notice accordingly.”
“The import of the notice is that there is no hiding place anywhere in the world for Maina, who was indicted by the EFCC for fraud and the theft of over N2 billion in pension funds at the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation.
“He is widely believed to be hiding in the United Arab Emirates. The EFCC had earlier declared Maina wanted after obtaining a warrant of arrest from court.”