- The head of civil service, Winnifred Oyo-Ita, has complained about the sluggish attitude of President Buhari towards the reinstatement of Abdulrasheed Maina, a former head of pension reform task force
- Some critics said that the president's delay in responding to the matter is intentional
- However, his supporters stated that he is only slow on the issue in order to get all the needed facts related to it
About four months after he received a detailed report on how Abdulrasheed Maina was readmitted into the civil service, President Muhammadu Buhari has not taken a firm position on the controversial issue.
The president’s detractors said he is delaying to respond to the report with the hope that Nigerians would soon forget the issue. But his supporters pointed to his history as a thorough administrator who would only take decisions after he gets all the facts on matters of national importance, Premium Times reports.
Maina, a former head of pension reform task force, was recalled by the Buhari administration in 2017, after he was dismissed from service on allegations of corruption and theft of public funds.
The Goodluck Jonathan administration, which sacked Maina, hinged its decision on allegations of corruption against him and his decision to leave from office rather than clear his name.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), subsequently moved to arrest and prosecute Maina, who was fired as an assistant director, but he fled at the time.
Subsequently, Maina was hardly seen until Tuesday, October 20, when newsmen spread the information that he had made a return to the civil service.
After taking three days to observe the widespread condemnation that greeted the reinstatement, President Buhari gave the head of service, Winnifred Oyo-Ita, a few hours to put a report together, with a detailed explanation of how Maina was reinstated.
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In the Monday, October 23, statement, the president also ordered Maina’s immediate sack from service, although the legal bases for this were contested by some lawyers.
Oyo-Ita’s report was submitted to the president around 3:00 p.m. the same day. In her account of how Maina was recalled, published on Tuesday, October 31, Oyo-Ita denied allegations by Attorney-General Abubakar Malami and Interior Minister Abdulrahman Dambazau that she knew of the reinstatement.
She also reminded Buhari that she put him on notice a few weeks earlier that some of his senior officials were scheming to reinstate Maina.
Oyo-Ita said in a memo to Buhari’s chief of staff, Abba Kyari: “I sought an audience with His Excellency, Mr. President on Wednesday, October 11, 2017, after the FEC meeting where I briefed His Excellency verbally on the wide-ranging implications of the reinstatement of Maina, especially the damaging impact on the anti-corruption stance of this administration.”
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com had reported that Maina was demanding the sum of N10bn in a defamation suit against the EFCC and its acting chairman, Ibrahim Magu.
It was reported that in the suit which is in respect to a press interview Magu granted in 2017, Maina's counsel, James Onyilo, asked the court to declare the interview defamatory with slanderous, untrue, injurious intention to lower the reputation and integrity of his client in the estimation of right thinking members of the society.
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