Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, said the letter directing the reinstatement of former Chairman, Pension Reform Task Force, Alhaji Abdulrasheed Maina, did not emanate from his office.
Malami stated this on Thursday when he appeared before members of House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee investigating the “disappearance, reappearance, reinstatement and promotion of Maina’’.
He said that though his office was processing correspondence from Maina to intervene in his dismissal, it did not direct his reinstatement.
“There was correspondence from Maina seeking the intervention of the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation for his reinstatement into the public service.
“Maina made available court processes, judgments and orders for the consideration of the Attorney-General of the Federation.
“Judgment and orders were generally obtained between 2013 and 2014 before I was appointed the Attorney-General and was not appealed.
“However, as at Oct. 5, 2017, Maina’s issue which has been confirmed by subsequent correspondence in my file was indeed a work-in-progress.
“So, the letter giving clear directives could not have genuinely emanated from my office,’’ Malami said.
He further said that the legal opinion expressed by his office relating to the request for the reinstatement of Maina was free of any strings attached to it.
“My responsibility is about action over a request for justice by ministries, departments, agencies and individuals.’’
Earlier, the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita, had said that her office received copy of the letter from AGF to the Federal Civil Service Commission directing that Maina be reinstated.
“When I got hold of that letter of reinstatement, I held on to it because 1needed some clarification on that letter.
“So, I was surprised to find out that without officially being conveyed – the letter of his reinstatement or posting – Maina was absorbed into the Ministry of Interior.
“I learnt through the media that he had been reinstated.
“I still have the original copy, so there was no way he could have resumed work at the Ministry of Interior if he had not been officially notified of doing so by Office of the Civil Service of the Federation,’’ Oyo-Ita said.
Similarly, Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazzau, said that the office of the minister was not involved in the dismissal of Maina in 2013 and his reinstatement in 2017.
“After checks, I discovered that my predecessor was not involved in the dismissal or disciplinary issue in 2013, and in 2017, the office of the minister was not involved.
“The issue of establishment matters is directly dealt with between the Office of the Permanent Secretary and the Office of the Head of Service and the Federal Civil Service Commission,’’ Dambazzau said.
Counsel to Maina, Mr Muhammadu Kuta, appealed to the committee to prevail on security agencies not to arrest his client, assuring that he would appear in person before the committee.
He said that Maina disappeared over fear that his life was under threat.
“We will ensure that he appears in person so that you will hear from the source.
“I ask for permission that you give protection to him by asking law enforcement agencies not to interfere so that he will appear.
“Maina disappeared because of so much threat to his life; he didn’t disappear because he wanted to hide facts,’’ he added.
Kuta, who claimed that Maina still received salary, argued that he was never sacked.
According to him, assignments were still being given to him to execute for the Federal Government even as at last month.
In his ruling, Chairman of the ad hoc committee, Rep. Aliyu Madaki (APC-Kano), directed the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior, Mr Abubakar Magaji, to appear before the committee on Nov. 30. (NAN)