President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the immediate disengagement from service of Mr Abdulrasheed Maina, former chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms.
Mr Femi Adesina, the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, in a statement issued in Abuja on Monday, said the President’s directive was contained in a memo to the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita
Adesina stated that the President equally demanded a full report of the circumstances of Maina’s recall and posting to the Ministry of Interior.
According to the presidential aide, the report is to be submitted to the office of the Chief of Staff to the President, Mallam Abba Kyari, before the end of work today.
The Minister of Interior, retired Lt.-Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau, on Oct. 22, had confirmed the resumption of duty by Abdulrasheed Maina, as an Acting Director in his ministry.
The confirmation came in a statement issued by the Press Secretary to the minister, Mr Ehisienmen Osaigbovo.
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.
Mr Wilson Uwujaren, the spokesman of the anti-graft agency in a statement at the weekend, said Maina remains on the commission’s wanted list.
Sunday’s confirmation by the minister followed reports in the online media that Maina had been secretly re-instated and promoted to the rank of director in the ministry.
The reinstatement had been roundly condemned by Nigerians, including Professor Itse Sagay, the Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption.
Today, a newspaper report claimed that Maina in 2012 bought a mansion in highbrow Jabi Abuja for $2million.
Maina had slipped into the country early in October, from his Dubai hideout. A so-called civil society group, the League of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) commended the Federal Government on 9 October, for reinstating Maina into the civil service.
Mr Mukhtar Akoshile, the National Secretary of the CSO said that the reinstatement was a pointer to the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to the rule of law and the triumph of truth.
He said that the reinstatement was also a validation of the president’s administration’s respect for separation of powers and due process.
“For almost five years, Maina was on the receiving end of the endemic corrupt system that Nigerians have perfected in almost every facet of their activities,’’ they said.
He said that Maina was made to bear the brunt of daring to confront a well entrenched system of pilfering the resources meant for those who had used their bright years to serve Nigeria and Nigerians in various fields of endeavour.
He said that Maina brought pension reform into a pension system that had hitherto perpetuated inefficiency, corruption and mismanagement, adding that this subjected many retirees into perpetual suffering and hardship.
“Before the establishment of Maina’s task force on pension reform, the ugly face of Nigeria’s pension system was already a source of worry and had become both national and international disgrace,”.
The twist in the narrative came several weeks before an online medium reported at the weekend that Maina had surfaced at Ministry of Interior as director of human resources, triggering voices of mass disapproval.