We drew the curtain last week after presenting part of the Mainagate drama, with the promise to continue this week. So, you are welcome to Part 2 of this interesting film, appropriately captioned “Nigerian Corruption Plc”, ably directed by Alhaji Abdulrasheed Maina with four others, under the supervision of a world-class distinguished Director General, in the person of President Muhammadu Buhari.
This film – Mainagate – is adapted after true life story and all the characters mentioned herein are real. It is not any work of fiction. For those that are faithful followers of events in Nigeria, it would not be difficult to remember Alhaji Abdulrasheed Maina, Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms, so appointed by former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Like Judas Iscariot of the Bible who was fond of dipping his hands into the Till, Maina was alleged to have dipped his hands into the Till holding the Pension Fund and helped himself to something, now being put into the region of between 25-50 Billion Naira. This atrocity was committed when he was an Assistant Director in the Civil Service of the Federation.
He was asked to explain his journey into such notoriety by his employer – the Federal Government – and was accordingly handed over to Economic and Financial Crime Commission [EFCC] but instead of proving his innocence; he absconded and ran away to the United Arab Emirate. Having found him guilty administratively, Maina was dismissed from the Civil Service while the EFCC declared him a wanted criminal. This was in 2013 and all process of events concerning this episode was properly documented in the Civil Service archive of records. This is Part 1 of this film show.
Then enters Part 2.
In the year of our Lord 2017, this same run-away pension thief was brought back to the country, reinstated back to the Civil Service through all nauseating and dubious means [as later revealed] on promotion from Assistant Director to Acting Director in the same Ministry of Interior, paid all salaries and allowances from the time of his suspension in 2013, till his reinstatement [in 2017], given full command of security apparatus of both Department of the State Security and the Nigeria Police Force so as to assure his personal safety and he “started treating official files” in the capacity of Director in that Ministry of Interior. This was when the bubble bursts – thanks to the vigilance of the Media.
Part 3 was when the news broke out and every Nigerian pretended as if such could not have happened. From the presidency to the ministries of Justice and the office of the Attorney General of the Federation, the ministry of Interior to the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, across to the Security Agencies, everyone and everybody said it could not happen.
President Buhari, was “astonished and embarrassed” [was he? – let us wait for a moment please] or so it seemed, on the revelation. This “astonishment” must have been the reason he ordered the dismissal of Maina from the Civil Service, second time if you may want to know since the same man had earlier been dismissed from the same Civil Service of the Federation by the previous government. The President even extended his presidential order to include “a thorough Probe of the matter within few days” [those few days may never come].
Part 4 however, is when the ugly and hypocrisy of the Nigerian-State as epitomized by fraudulent leadership started unfolding. And this part, concluding this cinema of shame, at least for now because Part 5 shall surely come to play, all things being equal, is what has put Nigeria in the he garden of embarrassment and shall keep it there for a long time to come. Permit me to rewind this part of the script. What you are about to read is nothing but true confession of all personae dramatis of this drama except only one person and that is the Director General of the production – His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari. He is yet to speak.
Maina publicly confessed in a video clip aired by a national Television Station a few days ago that it was the President that gave the Attorney General a “nod to meet with me in Dubai and ensure my return to the Civil Service”. His family had earlier attested to this fact when they said that the President “is aware of our son’s return to the country”, adding that “the DSS was directed to protect him”.
Like l said elsewhere, which need to be repeated here for sake of emphasize and clarity, until President Buhari refutes or put the record of his involvement in this show of shame in proper perspective, the confession of Maina remains sacrosanct. There are too many things we now know from fall-outs of confession of those involved in the issue.
Abubakar Malami; the Attorney General of the Federation [AGF] and Minister for Justice, now confessed meeting with Maina in Dubai within the time the man [Maina] was dismissed from the civil service and remained on the wanted list of the EFCC [a subsidiary of the Ministry of Justice] to facilitate his [Maina] return “to glory”. He would have embarked on that journey on the order of President Buhari, as confessed by Maina.
We equally now know that the AGF did not meet Maina alone in Dubai, but based on the recommendation of the Director General of Directorate of State Service; Lawal Daura [bringing the later into the conspiracy], he was in the company of the National Security Adviser [NSA] to the President, retired Brigadier General Mohammed Babagana Monguno, when he met Maina. This revelation is incontrovertible evidence of conspiratorial culpability of the NSA in the whole affairs. I am afraid that the NSA would not have travelled to Dubai with the AGF to meet Maina without telling President Buhari that “Oga, we are going o”.
Back home from “exile” and for his security to be guaranteed, both the DG of DSS [who had earlier been recruited [or is it directed?] into the conspiracy against the Nigerian State and the Inspector General of the Nigeria Police Force [confirming his recruitment into the group for the first time], were given executive order to provide maximum protection for the federal government’s “august visitor”.
It is therefore a complete cast – from the president [not presidency please] through to all his principal officers – for this disgrace show of shame to be completed. And here lies the challenge of embarrassment upon Nigeria and Nigerians. How could a President who keeps telling the world that his major mission in government is to “kill corruption”, turn around again in spear-heading enthronement of corruption? Or to put it more succinctly, if this drama of Maina, as fully put together by the confessions of the personae dramatis is not corruption, what therefore is corruption?
To the whole world, the President action in this matter has caused us a very grave embarrassment. This is the basic truth. But somebody may be saying somewhere that this conclusion [of mine] is fallacious because, to such commentator, President Buhari is well respected for his stand against corruption by world leaders. Such deduction shall always remain a colossus and monumental fallacy for one simple reason. World leaders thrive more on diplomacy and rhetoric when they meet each other.
In his book, “A Combatant in Government”, Major General [retd] David Jemibewo, asserted to this fact when he narrated an encounter with a Mayor from Chicago [USA] who paid him a visit in Ibadan while he was governor of the old Oyo State. “In government the game of diplomacy [which is nothing but lying] is raised to an acceptable norm. I remembered when the Mayor of Chicago visited me in Ibadan and he was telling me that Ibadan was one of the neatest cities he ever visited. I knew that he was deceiving me but the game of diplomacy compared me to thank him for his objective observation”.
The cue from above narrative remains the fact that any world leader that tells President Buhari that he is fighting corruption is merely thriving in the game of diplomacy. They know who we are in this issue of corruption and if there is still any doubt on which side of the divide we are, our President has confirmed the positivity of Nigeria’s stand through this Mainagate film-show. This is the international embarrassment we cannot run away from – at least not for now.
Godwin Etakibuebu, a veteran journalist, wrote from Lagos.