SEVEN Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) operatives have been arrested in connection with an attempt to smuggle former Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT) chairman Abdulrasheed Maina out of detention.
Mr Maina, is currently being detained in connection with graft charges as the EFCC is probing a N2.1bn fraud allegations made against him. However, it is believed that he had planned to escape from custody with a woman named as Zainab Abbas, who visited Mr Maina, coordinating the failed attempt.
As a result of the plot failing, Ms Abbas and seven men are undergoing investigation to determine their involvement in the escape bid. Apparently, the seven EFCC men were on duty when the plot was to be carried out but the authorities were tipped off and intelligence was received on October 17.
One EFCC source said: “That night, one Zainab Abbas was smuggled into the visitors’ area to meet with Maina and she was with her telephone. She was alleged to be making efforts to procure some purported military personnel to execute the plan to get Maina out in a commando-style operation.
“It could not be immediately ascertained if Maina was in the picture of what was being planned or if Zainab was contracted by members of the pension syndicate to set Maina free. Operatives on duty that night were arrested, questioned and detained and they are being investigated for suspected complicity as contrary to the rules, Zainab was allowed to use her phone during an audience with Maina.
“The acting EFCC chairman has ordered additional security measures around Maina in the facility where he is. All his visitors will henceforth be subjected to EFCC’s guidelines as we believe the plot might also be a ploy by the woman to get money from Maina.”