Maina: Reactions trail FG’s Recall, Promotion of fugitive on EFCC Wanted List

Nigerians have questioned the potency of the anti-corruption mantra of the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari. The administration has secretly reinstated fugitive former chairman of the Presidential Task Team on Pension Reforms, Abdulrasheed Maina, into the civil service.

Multiple sources and the Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau confirmed that Mr. Maina, who is wanted by the anti-graft agency, EFCC, was secretly recalled and promoted to the position of director in charge of Human Resources in the Ministry of Interior.

Mr. Dambazau, in a statement by his press secretary, Ehisienmen Osaigbovo, confirmed that Mr. Maina is now in charge of the Human Resources Department of the ministry.

The minister however denied responsibility for Mr. Maina’s recall to the service.

The statement explained that Mr. Maina “was posted few days ago to the Ministry of Interior by the Office of the Head of Service on an Acting capacity to fill a vacancy created following the retirement of the Director heading the Human Resources Department in the Ministry”.

The minister blamed Mr. Maina’s recall on the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation and the Federal Civil Service Commission.

He said the two bodies are responsible for “issues relating to Discipline, Employment, Re-engagement, Posting, Promotion and Retirements of Federal Civil Servants.”

The statement did not say if Mr. Dambazau was aware Mr. Maina is still a fugitive wanted by the EFCC.

The Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), and prominent lawyer, Femi Falana have called on the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to arrest immediately the wanted ex-chairman of the defunct Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms, Abdulrasheed Maina, who has returned to Nigeria.

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But on Sunday evening, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission spokesman, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, maintained that Maina was still wanted.

Civil Society Organisations in Nigeria have condemned the Federal Government’s decision to reinstate former Chairman of the defunct Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms, Abdulrasheed Maina, into the civil service

The groups said the reinstatement has put in doubt the anti-corruption war of President Muhammadu Buhari.

The coordinator, Civil Society Network Against Corruption, Olanrewaju Suraj, said the reinstatement signifies a major setback in the fight against corruption.

Mr. Suraju accused the Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau, as the architect of the reinstatement of a civil servant who has “disobeyed the three arms of government.”

Human rights activist and senior lawyer, Mr Femi Falana (SAN), has asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to quickly prefer a criminal charge against Mr. Abdulrasheed Maina before a competent court following his N100bn corruption indictment.

Similarly, Chido Onumah, Coordinator, African Centre for Media and Information Literacy, said, “the anti-corruption war becomes a problem when the government keeps working for and against itself.

“It’s quite unfortunate. Sometimes you wonder why the federal government continues to shoot itself in the foot when it comes to the war against corruption.

Mr. Onumah asked the presidency to answer questions that have arisen from the reinstatement while charging EFCC to swing to action on the information at hand.

“The EFCC has to follow up on this case,” he said. “Going by their words that he is on their wanted list; that means he has a case to answer with them. Now that he is in the country, we hope that they will do the needful and let the public know the outcome of their own investigation.”

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Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, the Executive Director, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre asked the EFCC to lay the facts on the issue he described as “highly controversial.”

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