An alleged memo said to have been written by Winifred Oyo-Ita, the Head of Service in the Nigerian Federal Civil Service, has reportedly revealed that President Muhammadu Buhari knew about the reinstatement of fugitive civil servant, Abdulrasheed Maina. Were this true, the claim has confirmed the statement by a relative of the fleeing Maina that the Buhari government invited him back into the court.
According to the memo published by the PUNCH, Oyo-Ita claimed she met with the president and warned him of the implication of reinstating Maina, particularly as it would adversely affect the government’s anti-corruption stance.
An excerpt of the memo reads: “Further to your letter Ref. SH/COS/100/A/1570 dated 23rd October, 2017 on the above subject matter, I write to inform you of the circumstances leading to the irregular recall of Mr. Abdulrasheed Abdullahi Maina.
“I wrote to place on record the following facts as it permits to Mr. A. A. Maina who was dismissed from service on 21st February, 2013.
“The move to recall Mr. A. A. Maina was at the instance of a series of letters from the Attorney General of the Federation to the Federal Civil Service Commission requesting the commission to give consequential effect to the judgement that voided the warrant of arrest issued against Mr. A. A. Maina which formed the basis for the query and his eventual dismissal.
“The letters herewith attached as Annexes I-III are:
(a) Ref. HAGF/FFCSC/2017/VOL.1/1 dated 19th January 2017,
(b) Ref. HAGF/FFCSC/2017/VOL.1/ 2 dated 21st February 2017; and
(c)Ref. HAGF/FFCSC/2017/VOL.1/1 dated 27th April 2017.
“The FCSC thereafter requested that the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation should advise the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior to consider the AGF’s letter and make appropriate recommendations to the commission and this was so communicated to the Ministry of Interior.
“The Ministry of Interior took the matter to the Senior Staff Committee of the ministry and recommended the reinstatement of Mr. A. A. Maina into the service as Deputy Director.
“The OHCSF forwarded the recommendation to the FCSC which has the constitutional responsibility for appointments, promotion and discipline for further action.
“The FCSC in consideration of the letter from the AGF and the recommendations of the SSC of the Ministry of Interior consequently approved and conveyed the reinstatement of Mr. A. A. Maina with effect from 21st February, 2013 vide letter herewith attached as Annex IV.
“(vi) The letter of reinstatement, as communicated to HCSF Ref. FC. 4029.82/Vol. III/179 dated 18th September, 2017 attached herewith as Annex IV, ostensibly also copied the Ministry of Interior which is the one erroneously used to document Mr. A. A. Maina on a claim that he has resumed work since 28th September, 2017. The Ministry of Interior informed the OHCSF of this development vide letter Ref. MI/1436/II/24 dated 16th October, 2017 from Ministry of Interior stating that Mr. A. A. Maina has resumed with effect from 28th September, 2017 is attached as Annex V.
“Please note that the OHCSF was never in agreement with the reinstatement and consequently never conveyed the approval of the FCSC to Mr. A. A. Maina nor approved his posting to the Ministry of Interior or any other MDA. Rather, I sought audience with His Excellency, Mr. President on Wednesday, 11th October, 2017 after the FEC meeting where I briefed His Excellency verbally on the wide-ranging implications of the reinstatement of Mr. A. A. Maina, especially the damaging impact on the anti-corruption stance of this administration.
“However, I have requested the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior, to provide any documentary evidence to support the claim of reinstatement and posting of Mr. A. A. Maina by OHCSF, since after his dismissal.
“The letter to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior is attached as Annex VI. The foregoing is accordingly submitted for your information and further consideration.
“Please accept the assurances of my best regards.”
Newsbreak.ng had reported President Buhari’s order that Maina be disengaged from the civil service following the avalanche of criticism that greeted his recall. The presidency in a latter statement issued by Garba Shehu, Buhari’s spokesman, described Maina as part of the rot left behind by the past administration of Goodluck Jonathan. The Maina issue scandal has become one scandal too many for a government that advertises itself as being abhorrent to corruption and its tendencies. The opposition, particularly, has accused President Buhari of shielding appointees of his governments who have been accused of corruption, while hounding others not in his camp.