…as fugitive avoids new office, switches off 3 lines, disappears again
By Soni Daniel, Northern Region Editor
Wanted fugitive, Abdulrasheed Maina, may have gone underground again, barely a few days after being surreptitiously smuggled into the Federal Civil Service as an acting Director in the Ministry of Interior, raising concerns about the anti-corruption war of the present administration.
But the Presidency promptly moved to rescue its battered image Monday by ordering the second sack of Maina and probe of those behind his clandestine pardon, reinstatement and promotion into the service not minding his alleged monumental looting of pension funds running into hundreds of millions of Naira.
The order by President Buhari for his immediate sack and the resolve by EFCC to fish him out by all means to face justice might have forced Maina, who was declared wanted by the EFCC in 2015, to go underground apparently to avoid being apprehended.
Apparently bolstered by the Presidential directive that Maina be shoved off the public service, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Monday stormed one of the mansions which Maina reportedly bought with $2 million while serving as the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms in 2012.
Armed EFCC operatives descended on the sprawling edifice located at No. 10 Hamisu Musa Road, Jabi, with the inscription ‘EFCC Keep Off’.
The mansion had earlier been marked by the EFCC but Maina erased the marks and carried on as if he did nothing to warrant such action by the agency.
It was learnt that many other property said to have been acquired by Maina were being identified by the anti-graft agency for possible forfeiture to the federal government.
The Spokesman for the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, confirmed the renewed efforts by the agency to fish out Maina to account for his actions while acting as the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms, during which he is alleged to have made away with funds worth N2 billion.
Maina’s promotion, reinstatement and posting didn’t emanate from my office-HoSF
With the presidential order to dismiss Maina from the service and those behind the disgraceful action, identified, attention has shifted to the HoSF, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, whose office is reported to have promoted and reinstated the suspect.
However, the HoSF yesterday, washed off her hands in the reinstatement of Maina, saying the recall of the wanted man did not emanate from her office.
The HoSF in a statement by the Head of Media, Mohammed Manga, said she neither approved Maina’s reinstatement nor promotion to the rank of an acting director and posting to the Interior Ministry as Head of Human Resources.
Manga said, “The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HCSF) wishes to inform the public that the re-instatement and posting of Alhaji Abdulrasheed Abdullahi Maina never emanated from the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation.
“Consequently, the purported re-instatement and posting by the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation is totally erroneous and misleading.”
We have no hands in maina’s reinstatement – DSS
In the same vein, the Department of State Services Monday claimed it did not play any role leading to the return of Maina into the federal service even though it was named as one of the agencies which played any part in smuggling the embattled officer into his new office while on the wanted list of the EFCC.
The DSS in a statement made available to Vanguard last night said, “The (DSS) hereby states categorically that it has no hand in the recall or reinstatement of Mr Abdullahi Abdulrasheed Maina.
“There was no correspondence of any sort between the DSS and the Head of Service with respect to Mr. Maina. The DSS is not investigating him nor handling any matter connected to Maina and neither has the DSS ever forwarded any correspondence to Mr President or any arm of government for the recall or reinstatement of Maina.
The Service is aware that Mr. Maina is a civil servant and any disciplinary action as regards Maina’s official conduct will therefore be handled as required by the Civil service rules. So it will therefore be absurd for anybody to imply or insinuate that the DSS has a hand in the recall or reinstatement of Maina.
Mr. Maina had been in the country for quite some time and it would be absurd for someone who should know to claim ignorance of his being around.
The denial notwithstanding, the Maina episode underscores the wide gap between the President and some of his aides whose actions and utterances are at variance with the pronouncements and policies of the Buhari administration.
Maina avoids Interior Ministry
Checks in the Ministry of Interior, where he had been promoted as an acting director in charge of Human Resources via a letter dated October 2, 2017, showed that he did not report to that office to join other workers as worked resumed on Monday.
The Spokesman for the Interior Ministry, Mr.Willie Bassey, the denied knowledge of Maina’s presence or posting to the ministry but admitted reading about the controversies surrounding his reinstatement and posting to the office.
But the Minister of Interior, Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau, had on Sunday confirmed that it was the Head of Service of the Federation that posted Maina to his office and said he played no role in the entire process.
Apparently in a bid to ward off public enquiry about his travails, Maina has tactically switched off all his three known GSM lines.
A call put to one of the lines on Monday afternoon reported that the line could not take any call at ‘this time’ while the other two indicated that they had all been switched off.