The embattled former chairman of the Presidential Pension Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, has on Tuesday revealed that his return to office was known to the Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, who is known to be actively waging war against corruption in the country.
The top official revealed that his return to office started with a meeting with the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, as ordered by the President.
In a video which was aired by Nigerian news channel, Channels TV on Monday, Mr. Maina, who was earlier declared wanted in connection with corrupt charges explained that the current administration led by President Buhari paved way for him to return to office.
Teh re-instatement which was conducted secretly was exposed in October by PREMIUM TIMES leading to several reactions from outraged Nigerians. The Presidency in reaction ordered an immediate investigation leading to the swift sack of the Secretary to Government, Babachir Lawal, and head of the National Intelligence Agency, Ayo Oke, indicted in separate corruption cases.
Maina, who made his firts public comments pointed an accusing finger at the Buhari-led administration.
He said Buhari feigned ignorance to deceive Nigerians adding that “he initially decided not to return to work despite a court order reinstating him because some people in the past administration did not want him back.”
He continued: “But the last administration refused to take me back to my job. They refused to obey the court order. The Head of Service was asked not to return me to the office. The Federal Civil Service Commission chairperson at that time did not want me to return to office. Mr. Maina said he has never been sued in any court of law for any allegation. Even the one they could not do, they went to immigration, put my name on no fly list. I went to the airport. I was in Nigeria, that was in 2015. I went to the court, the court granted me N2 million damages for not flying that day.”
He further added: “As soon as this present government decided to sit with me, and after sitting with, me, I told them I will not leave you to go back to Nigeria without something in your pocket. I’m going to give you something in your pocket and the Minister laughed. The Minister of Justice said what are you going to give us as gift? I gave him a document, I say go here, here, here, there’s N1.3 trillion they are going to steal it because they’ve been stealing every year. He was shocked, he said not possible. I said sir, with all due respect, could you please try it, this is a gift I’m giving you. I haven’t gotten to Nigeria, I’m just giving you a gift. I say try it for you to understand where I’m coming from.
“I’m not a saint but I try as much as I can to help the system. The minister thought that won’t be possible, when he got back, he realised I gave him a correct information. Now, after giving him this information, he asked me, when are you coming back, I said I will soon be back.
“I said I have a court order. So, I asked my lawyer to write a petition. He now wrote a petition to government and the Minister set up a committee to look at the petition. They looked at the petition and recommended that this is a court order that there’s no question of going back on it, nobody has appealed it since 2013 so government must obey it.
“So, he sent a letter to the Federal Civil Service Commission to say this is the petition I got in my office, I’m attaching the court order which you must respect. I’m hearing people are saying he’s directing people to reinstate me. No, he said you must respect the court order, this is the court order because he is the chief officer of the country.
“Now, the document was taken to the Federal Civil Service Commission. I went to the Federal Civil Service Commission, they told me they have just received the documents, they are going to see me later and we have a meeting. After that meeting, they wrote office of the head of service.
“They say we want you to sit down with your Senior Staff Committee and after that you send it to the Ministry of Interior; that was used at that time because they were coerced which I later found out. The Senior Staff Committee was coerced by the then Head of Service, Mr. Isa Bello Sanni to make sure they send me out and packing because I had stopped the inflow of 5.2 billion monthly to the office of the Head of Service.”