Maina-gate: Drama as DSS, Immigration, Head of Service trade blames

OrderPaperToday – The drama surrounding the disappearance, return and reinstatement of Abdulrasheed Maina, former head of the Presidential Task Team on Pensions Reforms (PTTPR), continued on Thursday in the House of Representatives as the Department of State Security (DSS), Immigration Service and the Head of Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita were put on the spot to explain their roles in the saga.

At Thursday’s hearing by the House of Representatives ad-hoc committee on the matter, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Interior, Mr. Abubarkar Magaji, told the lawmakers that the Head of Service was part of the decision to reinstate of Mr. Maina

According to the permanent secretary who exonerated himself on account that he was new to the ministry, stressed that Mrs. Oyo-Ita was in the full picture of Maina’s reinstatement.

In her response, the Head of Service denied and reiterated that “the Ministry acted in an illegal manner, I didn’t sign the letter of Maina’s reinstatement. The letter was never given to Maina, it’s still in my possession. The ministry acted on a copy given to them; not from me.”

On whether Maina still receives salary after his sack, the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris said the former PTTPR head received his last salary in February 2013 and in March 2013 his name was removed from payroll.

Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun corroborated this position, saying: “We use two platforms to pay salary and Maina’s name is not found in any. There’s no trace of Maina’s biometric records. He was never a staff. Maina collected salary last in March, 2013.”

The Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service, Mohammed Babandede, denied that Mr. Maina had been traveling in and out of the country even as a fugitive from the law.

According to him, “we have traced Maina traveling log. We have not seen him travelled since 2013. As far as we’re concerned, Maina has not been traveling since 2013.”

Explaining the role of the Department of State Service (DSS), its Director General, Maman Daura told the committee that while Maina was said to have been declared wanted, his name was not placed on a watch list.

According to him, Maina subsequently requested for protection and was granted by the DSS.

“The service has nothing to do with the reinstatement of Maina in the Federal Civil Service,” said Daura.

On the visit of Maina in UAE by the Attorney General, Abubakar Malami, Daura disclosed that he advised Malami to visit Maina with a third party.

According to Daura, Malami had informed him that Maina said he will like them to meet in UAE for further explanation.

The Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu revealed that a former deputy director in the commission, Kabiru Shehu, removed Maina’s name from the wanted list.

Magu also told the committee that Maina operated six bank accounts with cash of N2.7billion while another account belonging to his son had a total of N1.5billion. He also bought a property in Jabi in Abuja for the sum of 200million dollars cash, the EFCCboss claimed.

Meanwhile, Counsel to Mr. Maina, Sani Katu said the reinstatement of his client into service emanated from a court judgment and a subsequent agreement between the parties involved that the issue be settled out of court.

Katu made the revelation while speaking with newsmen after the hearing.

According to him, the reinstatement implied that Maina be reverted back to his earlier status which included payment of his accumulated salaries and promotion. “Perhaps, if not for what is going on now they would have paid him his salaries in October 2017,” the lawyer said.

He explained that there was a resolution in an industrial court that the matter be settled out of court, stressing that the ongoing investigation on his reinstatement is bringing confusion on the court ruling.

The chairman of the committee, Aliyu Madaki, adjourned the hearing sine die.

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