Senate To Maina On N195b Pension Fraud:

Senate To Maina On N195b Pension Fraud: "You Have No Hiding Place"

The Senate has continued to probe into the N195b pension fraud as it said yesterday that the Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT), Alhaji Abdulrasheed Maina, must face the law and pay for what he has done.

Senate To Maina On N195b Pension Fraud: "You Have No Hiding Place"

The Law Makers said they were not sure of the 2013 Appropriation Bill it passed on December 20 was sent to President Goodluck Jonathan for assent.

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Information, Media, and Public Affairs, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, made this known yesterday during a news conference in Abuja.

Responding to questions on the 2013 Appropriation Bill, whether it has reached the President’s table, he said, “The Senate has passed the 2013 budget. Any other thing going on is the normal course of bureaucracy involved and I do not think there would be any problem with that.

"The important thing is that the 2013 budget was passed on December 20 by a concurrence of both Houses of the National Assembly and this officially is the passage of the budget by the parliament.

"I will have to assume that such has been done because after you have passed the budget, what is left is simply mechanical. You get a clean copy and then, you send it. I’m assuming that it must have been passed."

Speaking on the decision to invite the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Abubakar for investigation over the Maina issue, he said the decision was agreed by the joint committee handling the case.

Adding, Abaribe said the Senate was not "helpless" in handling the refusal of Maina to appear before its committee.

In his words, "It is necessary for Nigerians to know that a committee of the National Assembly in either House is a representative of the House.

"It means if a committee of the Senate is operating or summoning anybody, it’s not just that committee; it is the whole Senate.

"It means whatever sanctions coming are not just from that committee, but the whole Senate.

"So, if a committee says ‘we have already discussed with our leadership and this is the step we are going to take’, then, you have to assume that such is a step approved by the Senate.

"But when committees seek further power, they bring it to the floor of the Senate. Then, we can vote for it, but the rule is that every committee is a representation of the Senate as a whole.

"On the issue of Maina, let me say that the Senate cannot be said to be helpless.

"On the contrary, the Senate will and I want to lay emphasis on that word, the Senate will pursue the matter to its logical conclusion."

Until date, Maina has been under immense pressure from the Upper Chamber for refusing to appear before its Joint Committee after several summons from the committee. In addition, he has failed to defend himself over allegation of N195billion pension fraud.

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