CHECKPOINTCHARLEY has been reliably informed by sources at Aso Rock that President Muhammadu Buhari is contemplating sacking his attorney general and minister of justice, Abubakar Malami and the minister of interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau,after it has emerged that both could have masterminded the reinstatement of fugitive former pension funds boss, Abdulrasheed Maina into the Nigerian Federal Civil Service.
According to one source, President Buhari’s Chief of Staff on Monday evening received the report from the Head of Service, Winifred Oyo-Ita (as directed by Buhari) of how Abdulrasheed Maina, wanted by the EFCC for allegedly stealing N2.1billion pensions money, was reinstated into the civil service.
This was also confirmed by Mr. Femi Adesina, Buhari’s special adviser on media when he later spoke on a live Channels Television news programme on Monday night.
CHECKPOINTCHARLEY was told that Mrs. Ita had implicated the two ministers as the masterminds behind Maina’s return to the Service.
Also an investigation by Premium Times revealed that on April 27, Mr. Malami wrote the Federal Civil Service Commission, FCSC, requesting it to “give consequential effect to the judgement that voided the warrant of arrest issued against A.A. Maina which formed the basis for the query and his eventual dismissal,” Mustapha Sulaiman, the chairman of the FCSC said.
According to Mr. Sulaiman, what it meant was that the attorney general in his letter with reference HAGF/FCSC/2017/VOL.1/3 requested Mr. Maina’s reinstatement based on a supposed court order voiding his arrest warrant.
In any case, Malami’s claim that the arrest warrant was the basis for which Mr. Maina was dismissed is false.
According to the newspaper, based on Malami’s letter, the FCSC held a meeting on June 14 where it “deliberated on the Attorney General of the Federation’s letter and requested the Office of the Civil Service of the Federal vide letter FC.4029/82/VOL.III/160 of 21st June 2017 to advise the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Interior to consider the AGF’s letter, the Officer’s case and make appropriate recommendations to the commission,” Mr. Sulaiman’s letter to Mr. Maina and the Head of Service on September 18 reads.
Premium Times added, “At a meeting held on June 22, the Senior Staff Committee of the Interior Ministry headed by Mr. Dambazau, deliberated on the letter and recommended that Mr. Maina be reinstated to his former position as deputy director, at the Interior Ministry.”
This contradicts Dambazau’s claim that it was the Head of Service and the FCSC that recommended Maina’s recall. According to the said investigation, it was his ministry that made the recommendation, consequent upon Mr. Malami’s letter.
Sources knowledgeable about the matter confirmed to Premium Times that Dambazau is a close ally of Mr. Maina and that he played a crucial role in the negotiation that led to his recall.
The Head of Service, Winifred Oyo-Ita, is said to have resisted the move to reinstate Mr. Maina but later succumbed to enormous pressure.
“That is why you will never see a memo where she wrote recommending or supporting the recall; because she never did,” a source said.
Notwithstanding the fact that the reinstatement move did not originate from her office, it is Mrs. Oyo-Ita’s office which forwarded the decision of the Interior Ministry to the FCSC in a letter dated August 14 with reference number HCSF/LU/COR/FCSC/749/III/135, the source told the newspaper.
Two days after the Head of Service forwarded the letter, the FCSC met to arrive at a conclusion, Mr. Sulaiman wrote.
“The FCSC at its meeting held on Wednesday 16th August, 2017 considered the letter” from the AGF and the recommendation of the Interior Ministry.
“The FCSC, thereafter, approved the reinstatement of the officer into the service with effect from 21st February 2017 (being the date he was earlier dismissed from service).”
To further reward Mr. Maina, “the FCSC also approved for the officer to sit for the next promotion examination to the Post of Director (Administration), SGL.17.”
Another letter, dated September 18 and signed by Mustapha L. Sulaiman for the FCSC chairman, and sighted by CHECKPOINTCHARLEY indicated that the AGF advised the FCSC that Maina should be reinstated.
It read: “Kindly refer to the Attorney-General of the Federation/ Honourable Minister of Justice letter Ref. No. HAGF/FCSC/2017/ VOL. 1/3 dated 27th April 2017 requesting Federal Civil Service Commission (FCSC) to give consequential effect to the judgment that voided the warrant of arrest issued against A.A. Maina which formed the basis for the query and his eventual dismissal.
“Further to the aforementioned letter, the Federal Civil Service Commission (FCSC) at its meeting held on 14th June, 2017 deliberated on the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF’s) letter and requested the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF) vide letter FC.4029/82/VOL.III/160 of 21st June 2017 to advise the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior to consider the AGF’s letter, the Officer’s case and make appropriate recommendation to the Commission.
“The OHCSF accordingly advised the Ministry of Interior to consider the matter. The Ministry of Interior at its Senior Staff Committee (SSC)’s meeting held on 22nd June, 2017 considered the disciplinary case against the Officer and the letter by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice seeking the reinstatement of the Officer as a Director (Administration), SGL. 17 in the Federal Civil Service.
“The Ministry of Interior’s Senior Staff Committee (SSC) deliberated on the case and recommended that Mr. Maina be reinstated into the service as Deputy Director. SGL. 16. The Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF) vide letter Ref. No. HCSF/LU/ COR/ FCSC/749/III/ 135 dated 14th August 2017 forwarded the recommendations of the Senior Staff Committee (SSC) of the Ministry of Interior to the FCSC for further necessary action.
“The FCSC at its meeting held on Wednesday, 16th August, 2017 considered the letter from the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice and the recommendations of the Senior Staff Committee (SSC) of the Ministry of Interior on the disciplinary case against Alhaji Abdulrasheed Abdullahi Maina, Deputy Director (Administration), Salary Grade Level 16.
“The FCSC, thereafter, approved the reinstatement of the Officer into the Service with effect from 21st February, 2013(being the date he was earlier dismissed from Service).
“The FCSC also approved for the Officer to sit for the next promotion examination to the Post of Director (Administration), SGL. 17.”
In the letter, which was sent also to Mrs Oyo-Ita, the FCSC only added a clause as follows: “You are kindly requested to deliver the attached original letter to the Officer, please.”