THE Minister of Interior, Lieutenant Gen Abdulrahman Bello Dambazau, (Retd) has confirmed the reinstatement of the embattled former chairman of Presidential Task Team on Pension Reforms, Abdulrasheed Maina, into the civil service.
Dambazau, however, said he did not influence the posting of Maina, who had absconded from the service years and had been on the wanted list of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), to the Ministry of Interior.
Press Secretary to the Minister Ehisienmen Osaigbovo, in a statement on Sunday, said Maina was posted a few days go to the Ministry on acting capacity.
The President Muhammadu Buhari administration has secretly reinstated fugitive former chairman of Presidential Task Team on Pension Reforms, Abdulrasheed Maina, into the civil service.
Maina was in 2013 dismissed by the Federal Civil Service Commission following a recommendation by the Office of the Head of Service
Reports have confirmed that Maina, who is wanted by EFCC, was secretly recalled by President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
It was also gathered that Maina, who was a Deputy Director, at the time he absconded from service, has now been promoted to the position of director in charge of Human Resources in the Ministry of Interior.
The statement by the Dambazau Press Secretary his attention has been drawn to a report with the underlined caption, published on October 20th, 2017 by Premium Times.
It said: “The publication, which queries the reinstatement of former Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms, reportedly claimed that the Interior Minister was one of those behind the said reinstatement.
“It is observed that some insinuations as it concerns the Interior Minister were presented as facts, hence the compelling need to proffer some clarifications for reference purposes.
“The ex- Chairman of the Presidential Task Force Team on Pension Reforms, Abdulrasheed Maina, was posted few days ago to the Ministry of Interior by the Office of the Head of Service on an Acting capacity to fill a vacancy created following the retirement of the Director heading the Human Resources Department in the Ministry.
“For the avoidance of doubt, issues relating to Discipline, Employment, Re-engagement, Posting, Promotion and Retirements of Federal Civil Servants are the responsibility of the Federal Civil Service Commission and Office of the Head of Service of the Federation, of which no Minister exercises such powers as erroneously expressed in this publication.
“It is understood that Maina’s last posting was with the Ministry of Interior, and that is probably why he was re-posted back to the Ministry.
It is, therefore, improper for anybody to think that a Minister could exercise such powers or influence the process of Discipline, Re-engagement, and Deployment of any civil servant to his Ministry or any other Ministry for that matter.
“Again Such responsibility is that of the Federal Civil Service Commission and/or the Head of Civil Service.
“We, therefore, admonished journalists to cross check their facts before going to the press, as we see Nigerian media as dependable allies in our onerous task of nation building.
“In any case, the relevant institutions of government are alive to their responsibilities regarding the allegations confronting Mr Maina,” it said.
A source at the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, however, said Maina was never sacked or dismissed from service.
When asked if Abulrasheed Maina has been recalled into civil service, the source said: “Was he sacked before? In civil service if somebody is recalled, it is either that he had been suspended or sacked.
When insisted that he was declared wanted by the EFCC and allegedly absconded from service, the source said: “Maina was an Assistant Director, before he was seconded to Head of Service.
“I encourage journalists to make their findings very well. If Maina was not suspended then he is not under any punishment according to civil service rule. If one is dismissed or indicted or suspended, which one was applied to Maina?
“Secondment, according to the civil service rule is for 15 years subject to renewal. Has Maina exhausted the 15 years in the place he was seconded to?
“But if he was dismissed or suspended for any reason, there should be a panel that investigated him, according to the civil service rules and what was their recommendations, was he found guilty and what was the steps taken. There are procedures in service.
“You need to also go the Federal Civil Service Commission to really find out because they are in charge of recruitment and discipline of civil servants.
A source at the Federal Civil Service Commission, when contacted said it was the responsibility of the Head of Service to recommend disciplinary action on an administrative officer like Maina.
The source, even though was indicted, it was not the duty of the Commission to investigate the issue without due information from the Head of Service.
In 2012 Maina was accused of leading a massive pension fraud scheme amounting to more than N100 billion, when he was drafted by the Goodluck Jonathan administration in 2010 to sanitize a corrupt pension system.
Based on the allegation of corruption, Maina was invited by the Senate Joint Committee on Public Service and Establishment and State and Local Government Administration.
The Senate after completion of its investigation issued a Warrant of Arrest against Mr Maina.
Ignoring the panel, Maina went ahead to sue the Senate and then Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, and thereafter went into hiding after being declared wanted by the police.
Consequent upon this, Mr Maina was dismissed by the Head of Service for allegedly absconding from duty and attempting to evade arrest and charged to court.
He was on July 21, 2015 charged by the EFCC alongside Stephen Oronsaye and two others before a Federal High Court on a 24-count charge bordering on procurement fraud and obtaining by false pretence.
While Mr Oronsaye and the two other accused were in court and pleaded not guilty to the charge, Mr Maina was at large.
Mr Maina is said to have spent these past years in the United Arab Emirates, from where he kept lobbying to win pleasure of the Buhari administration.