- Calls for public probe of Maina’s reinstatement
After its consultative meeting with representatives of civil society groups drawn from the six geo-political zones of the country in Abuja on Tuesday, the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) has issued a 14-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to order all its officials named in the scandalous reinstatement of fugitive former Chairman of Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina to the federal civil service to immediately step aside for proper probe of their involvement in the saga.
The Conference also called for a public enquiry into the scandal to unravel the truth behind the controversial return and reinstatement of the former pension taskforce boss.
According to a statement by the Secretary General of the CNPP, Chief Willy Ezugwu, “there are too many stories, questions, twists and names in the controversial recall game that it is impossible for any Nigerian to understand the focus of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption war.
“For us, the reinstatement of fugitive Abdulrasheed Maina to the Nigerian civil service, the naming of the alleged masterminded of the reinstatement as Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, and the Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau, the involvement of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation and the Federal Civil Service Commission, the Maina’s clandestine return to Nigeria, despite being on an international wanted list and the alleged revelations made by the AGF at the on-going secret probe by the Senate ad-hoc committee, have left every sane Nigerian thinking.
“The AGF was said to have confessed to the Senators that indeed Maina approached him for a meeting when he was in Abu Dhabi as part of the entourage of President Muhammadu Buhari’s official visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in January last 2016 but before granting him audience, he sought security clearance from the Director General of the Department of State Services (DSS) Lawal Musa Daura who allegedly gave him the nod on the condition that the Minister must attend the meeting along with a witness.
“The President, we learnt, was also accompanied on that trip by the National Security Adviser (NSA), Babagana Monguno; Ministers of Finance, Kemi Adeosun; Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah; Environment, Aisha Mohammed, who is now deputy Secretary General at the UN; State Minister Petroleum, Ibe Kachukwu and that of Power, Works, and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola.
“With all these names, there is now the urgent need for clarity on the part of the executive in view of the confusion associated with its much touted anti-corruption war.
“Every day of the President Buhari administration, Nigerians and the international community get more and more confused about the anti-corruption direction of the government.
“Therefore, for clarity and a proof that the war is not a vendetta and a mere political slogan to win the simple, all the persons involved the MainaGate must immediately step aside and an independent public probe instituted by the federal government to clear the doubts currently gathering in the air.
“This must be done within 14 days if Mr. President is truly on anti-corruption war to sanitize the Nigerian political system for generations unborn to enjoy a Nigeria of our dream or the CNPP and its allies in the civil society will be forced to take a legitimate but drastic measures to save Nigeria”, the CNPP demanded.
The statement added: “President Buhari needs to decisively act as the of head the executive arm of government as the Maina’s return and reinstatement became an international matter the day the INTERPOL got involved in the manhunt for the fugitive Maina.
“Today, Nigeria and her anti-corruption disposition have turned into a caricature among the comity of nations. Therefore, there is need to rise up and save the country.
“At the end of 14 days and the above mention officials and those yet to be identified were not ordered to step aside by President Muhammadu Buhari, we may be forced to rise to the demands of the occasion, include picketing of the Ministry of Justice and the Office of the Civil Service of the Federation, Ministry of Interior and other ministries and agencies of government named in the Maina controversy.
It shall be recalled that Maina was first placed on the international wanted list after he was accused of over N2 billion pension fraud.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had enlisted the International Police (INTERPOL) to arrest him but he dramatically showed up in the country and was last month reinstated as acting director in the Ministry of Interior.
On April 27, Mr. Malami wrote the Federal Civil Service Commission (FCSC) requesting it 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,” Mustapha Sulaiman, the chairman of the FCSC said.
According to Mr. Sulaiman, the attorney general in his letter with reference HAGF/FCSC/2017/VOL.1/3 requested Maina’s reinstatement based on a supposed court order voiding his arrest warrant.