House C’ttee summons past officials over fraud in pension

Matthew Otoijagha
The House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee investigating the activities of the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms from 2010 to its dissolution has summoned former Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Mr. Abubakar Malami, former Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HoS), Mr. Steve Oronsaye, and the incumbent HoS, Winifred Oyo-Ita, over alleged fraud in management of pension assets during their reign in office.
The committee, chaired by Hon. Anayo Nnebe (PDP, Anambra), further summoned the former Chairman, Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms (PTFPR), Mr. Abdulrasheed Maina, and all members of the taskforce among others.
Nnebe resolved to summon the relevant stakeholders following presentations by the Executive Secretary, Pension Transitional Administration Directorate (PTAD), Mrs. Sharon Ikeazor, and the Executive Director of Legislative Watch, Ngozika Ihuoma, both of whom had appeared at the maiden sitting of the committee.
Ikeazor had insisted that the directorate had not been presented any report or documents from the activities of the presidential task force. She said the agency was only handed pension liabilities and nothing else, and therefore, unable to give further evidence on the matter.
On his part, however, Ihuoma claimed that he was privy to the activities of presidential task force, having worked as a consultant to it.
He argued that the ad-hoc committee would need to interrogate all other members of the task force, including relevant stakeholders to get to the root of the matter. Ihuoma wondered why Maina alone whom he adjudged as “innocent”- was constantly being mentioned in the alleged diversion of the fund.
“What of all the other members of the task force and other government officials at the time?” Ihioma queried. According to him, Maina had helped the federal government recover a total of N1.3 trillion “after a visit to him in Dubai by the minister of justice and the national security adviser.”
Consequently, Nnebe, after carefully analyzing the submissions, agreed that the committee’s work cannot be concluded without having submissions from parties involved. Accordingly, he said: “We cannot conclude this investigation without hearing from the persons involved. We must bring all the culprits to book.”

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