Maina-gate: Senate slams AGF, demands expeditious action from committee

OrderPaperToday – The Senate has queried moves by the Attorney General Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, to stop the ongoing investigation of the illegal reinstatement of wanted fugitive, Abdulrasheed Maina into civil service by the National Assembly.

Both the Senate and House of Representatives launched a probe into the Maina affair when the former chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Pensions Reforms (PTTPR) who was dismissed from service was surreptitiously reinstated as an Assistant Director in the Ministry of Interior after a stealthy return to Nigeria in the face of an international arrest warrant on him.

Recall that the Maina matter has pitched Mr. Malami, Head of Service of the Federation, Winifred Oyo-ita, and the Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazzau against each other as the officials scamper to exonerate themselves from the scandal.

While the Senate held its probe in a closed door session, the House of Representatives conducted a public hearing.

However, reports hit the public domain that Malami filed a suit before a federal high court in Abuja in a bid to stop these probes, a prayer denied by the court on January 8.

In a reaction to the development, the Senate through its spokesman, Sen. Sabi Abdullahi in a statement on Tuesday queried the action of the AGF.

According to Abdullahi, it was curious that Malami who was “well received and fairly treated” at the legislative hearings would find it “very important and urgent for him to stop the investigative hearing? What is the AGF trying to hide?”

The statement further read: “Let it be known that the legislature has the power of investigation on all institutions, bodies and individuals, particularly those who access funds that have been appropriated by us. We however expressed our commendation to the judiciary for upholding the principles of separation of powers and insisting on fair hearing.

“We believe that is the reason why the judge refused to grant the prayers of the AGF yesterday and rather insisted that the National Assembly should be put on notice and served all the court processes so that we could enter our own defence.”

The red chamber then urged the concerned committee to “expedite” action “and submit their reports on time.”

The spokesman added that “the Senate believes Nigerians are interested in knowing the how, who, why and where of what is now known as the ‘Maina Gate’. We definitely will not allow those who want the facts buried to prevail.”

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