The presidency on Monday ordered the immediate sack of the former Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms, Abdulrasheed Maina, from the civil service.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari ordered his immediate disengagement.
Adesina said Buhari has also directed the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, to submit a report on the circumstances surrounding Maina’s reinstatement to his Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, before the close of work.
The statement said: “President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the immediate disengagement from service of Abdullahi Abdulrasheed Maina, former Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms.
“In a memo to the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, the President equally demanded a full report of the circumstances of Maina’s recall and posting to the Ministry of Interior.
“The report is to be submitted to the office of the Chief of Staff to the President, Mallam Abba Kyari, before the end of work today, Monday, October 23, 2017.”
There has been outcry since the news broke that Maina wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for N2bn pension scam in 2013 and also dismissed from the civil service, found his way back to the service and made Head of Human Resources, Ministry of Interior.
The Minister of Interior, Major General Abdulrahman Dambazau (rted), said on Sunday that his office was not responsible for the reinstament of Maina.
Reacting to a story by an online portal of how Maina, despite being dismissed from the civil service and wanted by the EFCC, found his way back to the service, the Minister in a statement by his Press Secretary, Ehisienmen Osaigbovo, confirmed that Maina is now in charge of the Human Resources Department of the Ministry of Interior but denied any role by the Ministry.
The Minister denied responsibility for Maina’s recall to the service.
The statement explained that 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”.
The Minister said Maina’s recall was made by the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation and the Federal Civil Service Commission.
He said the two bodies are responsible for “issues relating to Discipline, Employment, Re-engagement, Posting, Promotion and Retirements of Federal Civil Servants.”
“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,” the statement added.
Recall in 2012 when Maina was accused of leading a massive pension fraud scheme amounting to more than N100bn.
Maina, 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 Maina.
Ignoring the panel, Maina went ahead to sue the Senate and the then Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, and thereafter went into hiding after being declared wanted by the police.
Consequent upon this, 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 mentioned by the EFCC as a major accomplice in a 24-count charge filed against Stephen Oronsaye and two others before a Federal High Court bordering on procurement fraud and obtaining by false pretence.
While Oronsaye and the two other accused were in court and pleaded not guilty to the charge, the EFCC said Maina was at large.
Maina is said to have spent these past years in the United Arab Emirates, from where he kept lobbying to win the pleasure of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.