Nigerian govt explains why official accused of misappropriating N100 billion pension fund was reinstated
The Minister of Interior, retired Lt.-Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau, has confirmed the reinstatement of former Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms, Mr Abdulrasheed Maina, as an Acting Director in his ministry.
This came after media reports that Maina had been secretly re-instated and promoted to the rank of director in the ministry.
The confirmation came in a statement issued by the Press Secretary to the minister, Mr Ehisienmen Osaigbovo, on Sunday.
The statement read: “The ex- Chairman of the Presidential Task Force Team on Pension Reforms Abdulrasheed Maina was posted few days ago to the Ministry of Interior by the Office of the Head of Service in an Acting capacity to fill a vacancy created following the retirement of the Director heading the Human Resources Department in the Ministry.
“For the avoidance of doubt, issues relating to discipline, employment, re-engagement, posting, promotion and retirements of Federal Civil Servants are the responsibility of the Federal Civil Service Commission and Office of the Head of Service of the Federation, of which no Minister exercises such powers as erroneously expressed in this publication. It is understood that Maina’s last posting was with the Ministry of Interior, and that is probably why he was re-posted back to the Ministry.
“It is therefore improper for anybody to think that a Minister could exercise such powers or influence the process of Discipline, Re-engagement, and Deployment of any civil servant to his Ministry or any other Ministry for that matter. Again such responsibility is that of the Federal Civil Service Commission and/or the Head of Civil Service.
“In any case, the relevant institutions of government are alive to their responsibilities regarding the allegations confronting Mr. Maina.”
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.
The anti-graft agency, through its spokesman, Mr Wilson Uwujaren, says the former pension task force chairman remains on the commission’s wanted list.