President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday directed that controversial civil servant Abdulrasheed Maina be fired.
Maina, former Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms Task Team was restored and made director after being on the run for alleged N2b scam, among others.
Attorney-General of the Federation and Justice Minister Abubakar Malami directed the Federal Civil Service Commission (FCSC) to reinstate Maina.
It was also learnt that the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, did not make any input into Maina’s reinstatement. In fact, sources said, Mrs. Oyo-Ita advised against Maina’s recall, but she was overruled.
Instead of allowing Mrs. Oyo-Ita to determine Maina’s fate, some top officials of the Ministry of Interior were made members of a committee which recommended his reinstatement.
The officials were members of the Senior Staff Committee (SSC) of the Ministry of Interior.
Also yesterday, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) detectives stormed Maina’s Abuja home ahead of the legal battle for the interim forfeiture of the $2million house.
The agency said Maina still had a case to answer with a former Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mr. Steve Oronsaye and two others.
The details of who authorised Maina’s return were contained in a letter of reinstatement sent to the wanted officer by the Federal Civil Service Commission (FCSC).
Those in Maina’s camp allegedly released the letter to prove that the Federal Government followed “due process” in recalling him to duty.
The September 18 letter was also sent to the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation by the Federal Civil Service Commission (FCSC).
The letter, signed by Mustapha L. Sulaiman for the FCSC chairman, indicated that the AGF advised the FCSC that Maina should be reinstated.
The letter said: “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.”
Giving insights into how Maina was reinstated, some top government sources said the “deal” was executed by the AGF, Federal Civil Service Commission (FCSC) and the officials of the Ministry of Interior.
One of the government officials said: “The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation insisted that the reinstatement of Maina was absurd and illegal. She did not play any role in the entire process which led to the recall of the dismissed officer.
“In fact, she refused to add a sentence or a line to a memo routed through her office to the so-called Senior Staff Committee (SSC) of the Ministry of Interior. It is not within the mandate of the SSC to determine a grievous disciplinary case involving Maina.”
Another official said: “When some forces were determined to bring Maina back, the Head of the Civil Service took precautionary measures and warned that the process will fail.
“Instead, what the FCSC did was to compel the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation to forward the recommendations of the Senior Staff Committee (SSC) of the Ministry of Interior to it for further necessary action.
“All the documents are intact and they will be presented to President Muhammadu Buhari. I am sure more heads will roll. All the SSC members have no business being in office again.”
As at press time, detectives from the EFCC have stormed the residence of Maina ahead of the legal proceeding for the interim forfeiture of the $2million house.
“We have deployed our detectives to Maina’s posh $2million residence at 10 Amisi Musa Street, Jabi Lake Area to effect his arrest and mark the mansion afresh as still under investigation. We had marked the residence but he had the audacity to clean up the marks.
“Although the suspect has gone underground, we will fish him out at all costs.”
The agency stressed that Maina and Oronsaye had a case to answer before the Federal High Court Abuja on alleged N2billion Pension funds allegedly mismanaged for biometric contracts.
The EFCC source added the case “Maina and three others tagged FHC/ABJ/ CR/97/ 2015 dated July 10, 2015 is still ongoing”. The others are Oronsaye , Osarenkhoe Afe and Fredrick Hamilton Global Services Limited.
“The suspects are facing a 24-count charge bordering on procurement fraud and obtaining by false pretence. Neither Maina nor Oronsaye has been discharged.
”Oronsaye and two others pleaded not guilty to the charge, Maina has been on the run.”
Responding to a question, the source said: “Steve Oronsaye was only discharged by a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory on a separate N190 million corruption charges levelled against him. The alleged fraud was committed when Oronsaye was the chairman, Presidential Committee on Financial Action Task Force set up by former President Goodluck Jonathan
“Following a no-case submission, the trial judge ruled that the prosecution failed to establish its case against him.”