Foremost human rights lawyer, Femi Falana SAN on Tuesday reacted to claims made by Mr Sani Katu, lawyer to former chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT), Abdulrasheed Maina, that he bought a N1 billion mansion from the embattled ex-pension boss.
While stressing that there was no truth to the claims that he bought a mansion recovered by the PRTT from pension thieves, Falana challenged Maina and his lawyer to produce the details of the house that he purportedly bought from him.
“Which house? Where is it located? Is it in Lagos or Abuja,” Falana asked.
Katu, had in a statement issued in Kaduna on Monday alleged that the senior lawyer was a beneficiary of a recovered asset which was sold to him for N1 billion.
According to him, “it was because the lawyer was a beneficiary of the recovered assets that he has resorted to attacking him, fearing that he would be exposed.
“During the assignment of the Maina Led Pension Reform Task Force Team, it recovered assets and funds worth N1.6trillion. Amongst the real Estates recovered from pension thieves is a Maitama mansion worth N1billion situated at No 42 Gana Street, Maitama Abuja.
“Recently, the lawyer has been vociferous in asking for Maina’s arrest and crucifixion, because he is afraid that Maina will expose him as a party to the stealing of what Maina Team recovered assets,” Katu said
Katu also alleged that when eyebrows were raised on the transaction, the former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), then “arranged a fake scenario that one Alhaji Aliyu Abubakar, owner of AA Oil, was said to have sold the mansion to Falana at N1billion.”
Falana, in his reaction to the issue on Tuesday however contended that he did not buy any house from Maina and neither knew the former pension boss nor ever met him.
“Let him give details of the house. I have never met him or had any dealings with him before. He is engaging in the reckless blackmail because I criticized the careless handling of his matter by the federal government,” he maintained.
Falana said he gave the advice in order to save the Buhari administration’s anti-corruption policy, whose credibility he alleged had been eroded by the Federal Government’s handling of the Maina scandal so far.
Falana contended that some people in government must have conspired and prodded Maina to make the allegatioin order to disparage his person because he advised President Muhammadu Buhari to act fast in imposing appropriate sanctions on government officials who allegedly conspired to bring back the former Chairman of the defunct PRTT back to the country and got the fugitive reinstated into the public service with promotion.
The Nation reports that Falana also recalled that at a time the State Security Services (SSS) declared Maina wanted and were looking for him, Maina was moving about with SSS officials assigned to provide him with security.
He also noted that though the Federal Government has promised not to sweep the Mainagate under the carpet, the handling of the monumental scandal eroded the credibility of the anti-corruption crusade of the Buhari administration.