THE Nigerian Senate, Tuesday, began inquiries into the circumstances surrounding the reinstatement of a former Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms as a director in the ministry of Interior, Abdulrasheed Maina.
The Senate, in Tuesday’s proceeding, queried how and on whose directives the ex-Chairman was brought back into the ministry, especially following the refutal by the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, that the service never the reinstatement of Maina into the Interior ministry.
It equally constituted a committee of investigation to look into the issue of Maina’s recall.
Maina who was appointed by former President Goodluck Jonathan as Chairman of the task force in 2010 to check the corruption in the country’s pension system, was however, In 2012, accused by the Nigeria Police of misappropriating N100 billion pension funds in connivance with others.
The Civil Service Commission had reportedly dismissed him for “absconding from duty’’ while Maina was equally arraigned in absentia by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which declared him wanted in 2015. However, the Minister of Interior, retired Lt.-Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau had on Oct. 22, confirmed the resumption of duty by Abdulrasheed Maina, as an Acting Director in his ministry.
The confirmation came in a statement issued by the Press Secretary to the minister, Mr. Ehisienmen Osaigbovo. But following outrage over Maina’s reinstatement, Lt.-Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau exonerated himself from complicity in the matter.
Likewise, the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, on Monday, dismissed media report that she approved the reinstatement of Abdulrasheed Maina, and his subsequent posting to the Ministry of Interior.
Oyo-Ita’s refutal was contained in a statement by her Assistant Director, Media Relations, Mohammed Manga.
Moreover, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, Monday, directed the immediate sack of Maina from the service and equally asked Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita to submit a detailed report of the circumstances surrounding Maina’s reinstatement to the President’s Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari.
The Presidential Spokesman, Femi Adesina, confirmed the receipt of the report by the President’s Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari on Monday night.
However, the Senate, during its plenary on Tuesday, “We should bring to book any culprit that tries to undermine this Country.”
Senator Isah Misau had cited order 42 and 52 and talked of Mr. Abdulrasheed Maina who was indicted by the EFCC while he was Acting Director in the ministry of Interior and then returns to become Director.
Sen.Dino Melaye said that “if the office of the Attorney General is aware of this appointment, then Nigeria isn’t safe because this lacks Integrity.”
He added that President Buhari is a good man and means well but is surrounded by what he described as canker worms.
The Senate, therefore, resolves that the Committee on Public Service and Establishment should investigate:
The circumstances of how Mr. Maina got into the Country;
How Mr. Maina was reinstated into Public Service And;
How Mr. Maina got promoted to the level of Director.
Sen. Akpan Bassey adds that the Committees on Interior and Anti-Corruption should be included to the Cmttees carrying out the investigation.