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Promoting Good Governance.

Reps summon Okonjo-Iweala, Emefiele, Oyo-Ita over pension fraud

The House of Representatives committee investigating the alleged diversion of pension funds has summoned Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to explain her role in the alleged scandal.

The committee also invited Steve Oronsaye, who was the Head of Service of the Federation at the time the fraud allegedly took place, as well as Abdulrasheed Maina, former Chairman of the Pension Reforms Task Team.

Both Oronsaye and Maina are currently facing corruption charges before the Federal High Court, Abuja, for allegedly embezzling billions of pension funds.

The decision to invite Okonjo-Iweala and Oronsaye to the next hearing followed an objection by Ngozika Ihuoma, Executive Director of Legislative Watch, an NGO, who urged the committee not to focus their investigation on Maina alone, but also to interrogate all other members of the pension task force.

Ihuoma had consistently maintained that Maina should be recalled to the Federal Civil Service, describing him as a ‘saint’ who came to sanitize the Nigerian pension sector.

Also summoned to the House investigative hearing are Abubakar Malami, Attorney General of the Federation; Winifred Oyo-Ita, Head of Service of the Federation; Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria; Ibrahim Magu, Acting Chairman of the EFCC; Abdullahi Bako, Acting Chairman of ICPC and Ibrahim Idris, Inspector General of Police.

The committee’s next hearing comes up on March 11.

In a video clip recorded from his hiding place and made available to the media, Maina had appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to convene a public hearing during which everyone connected to the allegations of pension fraud would be given the opportunity to “say the truth”.

Maina said if given the opportunity, he would show Buhari how he could recover N3 trillion from pension thieves at the rate of 1N trillion per month.

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