Jonathan exonerates self from Maina’s return


Former president, Goodluck Jonathan yesterday pushed back against “absurd” attempts by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to link him to the unfolding scandal of how a fugitive returned to the country and took a senior position in public service.

According to premium Times, Jonathan said the fact that efforts are being made to link him to the return and reinstatement of Abdulrasheed Maina underscored how “uncoordinated and rudderless” the Buhari administration has become.

“Are they saying it is President Jonathan that flew him back into Nigeria and promoted him in two levels ahead of where he was as at 2013 when he fled from the civil service?” Jonathan’s spokesperson, Ikechukwu Eze, stated last night.“They should stop insulting Nigerians or seeing them as fools,” Eze said.

Buhari has come under intense public backlash since last Friday when Premium Times uncovered Maina’s surreptitious return to civil service.

He was declared wanted by the EFCC on allegations of courting billions in public funds for his own use when he headed the pension reform task force.

The pension funds scandal broke out during Jonathan’s administration (2010-2015), and the government took disciplinary steps against Maina by dismissing him from service.

He was an assistant director at the time of his dismissal.

Recall that the Presidency, yesterday said the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) had no moral right to level any accusations against the current government in respect of Maina.

In a statement by Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, described Maina as one of the monsters created by the former PDP government, and which are still rearing their ugly heads long after the Party was soundly defeated  in the 2015 elections.

“Over and over again, the President Buhari government has pointed out that the administration’s greatest problem is the mess left behind by the previous government. Maina is just one more example,” he said.

Referring to document records from the investigations that led to the disgrace of the former pension boss and his being declared wanted by the EFCC, Shehu noted that Maina was not the only top member of the former government involved in the multibillion naira pensions scandal, but a man warmly ensconced in the bosom of power.

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