Investigation by Premium Times has exposed that the Department of State Security, DSS, has been hobnobing with wanted fugitve Abdulrasheed Maina for quite sometime and had once made curious huge cash transfers into a bank account linekd to the former chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms.
Recall that this blog reported how Maina got security operatives from operatives of the DSS and the Nigeria Police Force. It is alleged that the DSS even unlawfully provided a hideout for Maina, a man wanted by the Nigerian State for allegedly stealing N2.1billion pension fund.
Mr. Maina is on the run following moves by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to charge him to court for alleged N2 billion fraud.
As reported by the newspaper two years back, Mr. Maina has a history of using bankers and other intermediaries to launder most of the money he allegedly embezzled from the pension funds.
Sometime in 2011, while serving as chairman of the pension task force, Mr. Maina, using his banker sibling, Khalid Ali Biu, opened a corporate bank account in the name of Cluster Logistics Limited domiciled at Fidelity Bank.
According to Premium Times, Mr. Biu, who was a staff of the bank, was both the bank’s account officer as well as a director of the fictitious company, according to bank and company registration documents sighted by the newspaper.
The report continued: Bank papers, including mandate card for the Cluster Logistics account also identified Mr. Maina as a signatory to the account.
Investigators said the account had over N500 million cash inflow that were mostly cash deposits made between 2011 and 2013.
Curiously, however, among deposits into the accounts were three payments made over a period of one year by no other than the SSS, under its preferred name of Department of State Services (DSS).
Bank documents show that the security outfit paid a total of over N152 million.
The first tranche of over N61 million was paid on November 16, 2011 and the last made on November 14, 2012.
One of the deposits shows that it was made in the name of “DSS Pension Biometrics”.
It is unclear if Cluster Logistics offered any services to the DSS to warrant any payment.
The discovery of the account details, according to a source, “unsettled the SSS despite the EFCC’s effort at downplaying the matter in the spirit of inter-agency esprit de corp.
“Now that the whole case is being revisited it is important for the president to order forensic investigation into the SSS pension department,” he said.
Another EFCC official, who asked not to be named, said before the recent controversy over Mr. Maina’s matter, the commission was already preparing to arraign some of the bankers who aided the dismissed civil servant to allegedly launder billions.
Premium Times said it could not reach SSS for comments on this story Wednesday night. The agency has no official spokesperson.
EFCC’s spokesperson , Wilson Uwujaren, did not respond to multiple telephone calls, it also said.