Abdulrasheed Maina, former Chairman of the Presidential Pension Reform Task Team, continued to work and earn salary even after he was dismissed from the civil service.
This was made known by Mohammed Katu, Maina’s lawyer, during a hearing into the circumstances that led to Maina’s recent reinstatement and promotion in October.
The hearing, which is being conducted by the House of Representatives, was attended by Abdulrahman Dambazzau, Minister of Interior; Winifred Oyo-Ita, Head of Service of the Federation; and Abubakar Malami, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation.
Katu told the hearing that Maina had to flee due to serious threats to his life, but continued working from exile and that his salary was never stopped.
“If you want a categorical answer, I will tell you Yes. I will advance documents to you to show (that Maina continued to work even after his dismissal),” Katu said.
“I could go further to let you know that files were sent to Maina even as at last month, for him to treat, while he was absent.
“We’ll mention to you that 23 numbers of files were sent to him to minute in his capacity as acting director.
“We have annex document here to show that even after the letter purporting to have dismissed Maina, dated 12th February (2013) was issued, Maina still worked for the federal government and he sent letters to the various agencies.
“This letters were dated March 13, to the then President, another letter was to the honourable minister of finance dated 13th June 2013, after he was purported to have been dismissed.
“Another letter was addressed to the Attorney General on the 11th of March 2013.
“So it is not true for anybody from anywhere to state that Maina was dismissed. By implication, he is and remain a civil servant, because he has sent in documents and they were all acknowledged and the federal government of Nigeria worked on these documents.”
Maina was a Deputy Director in the Ministry of Interior before being appointed by Steve Oronsanye, then Head of Service, to head the Pension Reforms Task Team (PRTT), in 2010.
He was sacked in 2013 following allegations of gross corruption running into billions of naira purportedly recovered from pension thieves.
However, in October, he was surreptitiously reinstalled into the civil service and promoted to the post of Director.
Following a media uproar over the clandestine reinstatement, President Muhammadu Buhari ordered Maina’s immediate removal, and ordered the Head of the Civil Service to explain what led to his recall.
Similarly, the House of Representatives formed an ad hoc panel to look into the matter.
The panel, headed by Madaki Ali, commenced hearing on Thursday.