John Ameh, Abuja
An ad hoc committee of the House of Representatives has indicted the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, over his role in the reinstatement of the former Chairman, Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms, Mr. Abdulrasheed Maina, back to service in 2017.
The panel, which is chaired by a member of the All Progressives Congress from Kano State, Mr. Aliyu Madaki, had investigated the controversial recall.
Maina had been dismissed from service in 2013 over his involvement in an alleged pension fraud and was later declared wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
But, late in 2017, Maina returned back to work at the Ministry of Interior and got accelerated promotion to the rank of a director.
In the course of probing the recall, the Federal Civil Service Commission; the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita; and the Ministry of Interior, all testified that the reinstatement was initiated by a letter from Malami.
However, Oyo-Ita had told the committee that she did warn that the reinstatement was illegal and refused to act on any forwarding letter to effect it.
Though Malami appeared before the committee to testify, he had denied that he personally authorised the recall process.
However, the report of the panel, which Madaki laid before the House in Abuja on March 28, put the blame on the AGF.
The panel recommended that Malami be “reprimanded and cautioned” for the recall.
The report observed that had Malami’s office not initiated the letter that led to the recall, Maina would not have been reinstated by the Ministry of Interior.
“The said Maina remains sacked as his recall also contravened legal provisions,” a part of the report read.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Interior, Mr. Abubakar Magaji, who signed the final recall letter, was also indicted and recommended for “appropriate sanctions.”
On her part, the panel cleared Oyo-Ita and praised her for opposing the reinstatement of Maina.
The House is on Easter break till April 10.
Members will consider the report and approve or reject the recommendations in the days after the resumption of sitting by members from April 10.
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