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Revealed: Dambazau lied, I didn’t reinstate Maina , AGF ordered recall – Head of Service

By The Nigerian Voice
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The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, on Monday said there was no truth in the reports that she approved the reinstatement of a former Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms, Mr. Abdulrasheed Maina, and his subsequent posting to the Ministry of Interior.

In a statement by her Assistant Director, Media Relations, Mohammed Manga, the HoS insisted that Maina’s restatement and posting did not emanate from her office.

While confirming that she has carried out the President’s directive to submit a report, Oyo-Ita explained in an interview that the role played by her office in the whole saga was based on legal advice by the ttorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN).

The three-paragraph statement read, “The attention of the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation has been drawn to several media reports that the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation has approved the reinstatement into the Federal Civil Service of Alhaji Abdulrasheed Abdullahi Maina and his subsequent posting to the Ministry of Interior.

“The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HCSF) wishes to inform the public that the reinstatement and posting of Alhaji Abdulrasheed Abdullahi Maina never emanated from the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation.

“Consequently, the purported reinstatement and posting by the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation is totally erroneous and misleading.”

Oyo-Ita’s claim contradicts the position of the Minister of Interior, Lt.-Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau (retd.), has who had earlier absolved himself from complicity in the matter.

Dambazau had said Maina, who was declared wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, was posted to his ministry by the Head of Service a few days ago.

The minister, in a statement signed by his press secretary, Ehisienmen Osaigbovo, in Abuja on Sunday, said Maina was deployed to the interior ministry in an acting capacity to fill a vacancy following the retirement of the director in charge of the human resources department.

The statement read, “The ex-chairman of the Presidential Task Force Team on Pension Reforms, Abdulrasheed Maina, was posted a few days ago to the Ministry of Interior by the Office of the Head of Service in an acting capacity to fill a vacancy following the retirement of the director heading the human resources department in the ministry.”

It added, “For the avoidance of doubt, issues relating to discipline, employment, re-engagement, posting, promotion and retirement of federal civil servants are the responsibility of the Federal Civil Service Commission and the office of the Head of Service of the Federation, of which no minister exercises such powers as erroneously expressed.”

The following conversation ensued between our correspondent and the HoS:

The PUNCH: I am trying to find out Ma if you have made the report on Maina’s reinstatement available to the President as directed.

Oyo-Ita: Oh! Of course, I have.

The PUNCH: Oh, You’ve done that already?

Oyo-Ita: Yes, I did.

The PUNCH: We have also seen a statement from your office that you did not order his reinstatement.

Oyo-Ita: Yes! Please, I need to correct that erroneous impression.

The PUNCH: We also have a document indicating that the advice for Maina’s reinstatement was given by the AGF.

Oyo-Ita: Yes.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, on Monday evening confirmed that the Presidency had received Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita’s report on the reinstatement of Maina.

In a text message, Shehu said the report was being studied while others were being awaited. He did not state the other reports being awaited.

“I have confirmation that the Head of Service of the Federation, Mrs. Oyo-Ita, has brought the report on the re-engagement of Abdulrasheed Maina as directed by the President. This is being studied as other reports are being awaited,” he wrote.

When contacted, the Director, Press and Public Relations, of the Federal Civil Service Commission, Dr Joel Oruche, said, “The Presidency has already cancelled the posting of the man.”

Asked further to comment on the authenticity of a letter purportedly written by the commission to the HoS to reinstate Maina, he said, “Send it (letter) to me. Let me see it first. By tomorrow (Tuesday), I will find out what happened.”

President Muhammadu Buhari had ordered for the immediate sack of Mr. Abdulrasheed Maina from service.

A statement made available to newsmen by Femi Adesina, Buhari’s Special Adviser on media, said President Buhari also asked for a full report on the circumstances of Maina’s recall.

He said President Buhari also demanded for the full report on the circumstances of Maina’s recall.

Maina 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. In 2012, the Nigeria Police accused him of misappropriating N100 billion pension funds in connivance with others.

The Civil Service Commission reportedly dismissed him for “absconding from duty’’. Maina was arraigned in absentia by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which declared him wanted in 2015.