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Published On: Tue, Oct 24th, 2017

Buhari fires Maina, orders probe

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  • HoS distances self from Dambazau’s claim

By Lawrence Olaoye

President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the immediate disengagement of
Mr. Abdullai Abdulrasheed Maina, former Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms The President, in a statement made available to newsmen yesterday by his Special Adviser on media and publicity, Femi Adesina, yesterday also in the memo directed the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Ekanem Oyo-Ita, to submit a full report of the circumstances leading to Maina’s recall and posting to the Ministry of Interior.
The report was to be submitted to the office of the Chief of Staff to the President before the end of work yesterday Maina was in 2010 engaged by former President Goodluck Jonathan to sanitise the corrupt pension system.
But accusation started piling in 2012 when Maina was accused of leading a massive pension fraud scheme amounting to more than N100 billion.
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.
After its investigation, the Senate issued a Warrant of Arrest against Maina who had ignored the panel, and went ahead to sue the Upper Chamber and the then Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar before fleeing the country.
In the heat of the allegation and counter allegation, Maina was dismissed by the Head of Service for allegedly absconding from duty and attempting to evade arrest and charged to court.
The former Pension boss 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 Mr. Oronsaye and the two other accused were in court and pleaded not guilty to the charge, the EFCC said Mr. Maina was at large.
Meanwhile, the revelations at that time claimed that Maina was in the United Arab Emirates, trying to warm his way in to the Buhari’s administration.
But the controversy surrounding Maina recall continued yesterday, with the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, distancing herself from the Interior Minister, Dambazau’s claims.
Oyo-Ita said yesterday that, 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.
She stated this in a statement by her Assistant Director, Media Relations, Mohammed Manga.
The HoS insisted that Maina’s reinstatement and posting did not emanate from her office. Recall that, the minister had 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 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.”
But the HoS, in her statement said, “The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation 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.”
Also yesterday, the the Department of State Services(DSS) stated categorically that it has no hand in the recall or reinstatement of Mr Abdullahi Abdulrasheed Maina.
The DSS in a statement said there was no correspondence of any sort between the DSS and the Head of Service with respect to Mr Maina.
“ The DSS is not investigating him nor handling any matter connected to Maina and neither has the DSS ever forwarded any correspondence to Mr President or any arm of government for the recall or reinstatement of Maina,” It added.

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