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‘How did he enter the country?’ — Senate sets up committee to probe Maina’s recall

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The Senate has set up a committee to investigate the circumstances that led to the reinstatement of Abdulrasheed Maina, ex-chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms, who is wanted for corruption.

This was following a motion that was moved by Isah Misau, the controversial Bauchi Senator who himself is currently undergoing forgery and libel charges at the FCT high court.

All the lawmakers who contributed to the motion described Maina’s reinstatement as an unfortunate development and a sign that some persons within the executive were working against the government.

However, Tayo Alasoadura said the Senate should not form a probe panel committee since Buhari had already ordered an investigation into the Maina saga.

“We should not always duplicate the Executive; if the Executive has ordered an investigation we shouldn’t order another,” Alasoadura said.

But after deliberations, the lawmakers mandated its committee on Public Service and Establishment to investigate the issue.

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Olusola Adeyeye suggested that the Committee should include Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Committees on Interior, Judiciary and Anti Corruption.

He also said that the Chairman of the Committee on Public Service and Establishment should head the probe panel. The suggestions were adopted.

On Monday, President Muhammadu Buhari ordered Maina’s disengagement immediately after news broke that the fugitive had been secretly recalled into the federal civil service and promoted as a Director in the Ministry of Interior.

Buhari also queried the Head of Service of the Federation, demanding explanation as to what led to Maina’s recall. The report was submitted to Abba Kyari, Buhari’s Chief of Staff, on Monday evening. But its contents remain unknown.

Since the news of Maina’s reinstatement broke, the Ministry of Interior has been trading blames with the office of the Head of Service and the Civil Service Commission over who authorised the move.

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However, documents seen by journalists point to the fact that not only were the three agencies expressly aware and approved the recall of Maina, who is wanted by the EFCC and Police, the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice also knew and approved of it.

In 2013, prior to his fleeing to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Maina refused to attend series of hearings by a Senate Committee set up to probe the allegations of corruption against him.

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