The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, explained to Senate that he met former fugitive chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, in Dubai lats year.
The minister admitted before a Senate ad hoc panel probing Maina’s reinstatement into the Civil Service and promotion to Acting Director.
He also said he wrote letters to the Federal Civil Service Commission (FRSC) on the sacked fugitive former Civil Servant.
Maina was in 2015 accused of over N2billion pension fraud and declared wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The EFCC enlisted the International Police (INTERPOL) to trace Maina.
But he dramatically showed up in the country and was last month reinstated as Acting Director in the Ministry of Interior.
Embarrassed by the development, President Muhammadu Buhari ordered Maina’s immediate sack and a probe of how he was brought back. The EFCC stepped up its investigation. But Maina has not been seen since then.
The Senate panel is conducting its probe in camera with a promise to brief reporters at the end of its investigation.
But a source said last night that Malami, Interior Minister Abdulrahman Danbazau and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior appeared before the committee.
The Interior Minister and the permanent secretary insisted that they played no role in Maina’s recall that the attorney general admitted writing three letters to the Federal Civil Service Commission (FCSC) on Maina. But he said he did not bring him back.
Another source close to the Committee said: “Malami agreed before the Parliamentary Panel that he held a meeting with Maina in Dubai, although he insisted that he was not responsible for his dramatic return to the service.”
“The committee discovered that three letters were written by the Justice Minister asking questions from the FCSC on Maina. There is no record that the questions were answered by the FCSC in any correspondence.
“The fourth letter was written by the Attorney-general in January as a directive to the Civil Service Commission to reinstate Maina. In the letter, the AG asked for Maina’s status, his position, rank and next rank.
“There was another letter in February where the AG directed the Civil Service Commission to reinstate Maina. The Committee frowned at this because under the constitution, they felt the AG cannot issue that kind of directive.”
According to the source, the AG wrote another letter in April asking whether the reinstatement had been effected. In that letter, he directed the FCSC to promote Maina to Director.
The source added: “When Committee members asked the AG to react to the allegations that he wrote the letters, the AG agreed that he wrote them, but said he could not remember all that he wrote. He pleaded with the Committee to allow him contact his files to ascertain the content. He promised to return and the Committee agreed.