Sagay urges Buhari to investigate Malami over Maina
Itse Sagay, Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Anti-Corruption (PACAC), has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to investigate Abubakar Malami, Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), over his role in the reinstatement of Abdulrasheed Maina.
Speaking with journalists on Tuesday, Sagay, who has never hidden his disaffection for the upper legislative chamber, also said the Senate spends too much time “setting up sub-committees to investigate everything”.
Although Sagay agreed that Malami should be probed, he expressed belief that Buhari, not the National Assembly, should order such.
The professor of law said Malami has no business holding meetings and discussions with Maina, when the latter is still a fugitive, having fled the country after he was declared wanted for pension fraud.
“As the Attorney General, you met a fugitive who is wanted for a very heinous crime of depriving thousands of elderly people of their rights. You don’t, for any reason, go to hold discussions with such a person,” Sagay said.
“Your job should be to extradite and try him. He (Malami) compromised himself by meeting with him (Maina).
“He says he didn’t write any letter regarding the reinstatement of Maina but the letter emanated from his ministry. So, let the President investigate the attorney general.
“I think the Senate is overzealous in its approach. It investigates everything and in the end, we hardly see anything. I think it is spending too much time setting up sub-committees to investigate everything.”
Meanwhile, the Senate has expressed surprise at Malami’s “desperate” quest to stop ongoing investigations into the ‘Mainagate’ saga.
Aliyu Sabi-Abdullahi, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Media and Publicity, made this known in a statement on Tuesday.
“We are wondering what the AGF is afraid of. When he appeared before our committee, he was well-received and fairly treated,” Sabi-Abdullahi stated.
“He indeed expressed his happiness with the protection given to him by the committee handling the Maina case.
“Why then is it very important and urgent for him to stop the investigative hearing? What is the AGF trying to hide?”
Both chambers of the National Assembly had constituted ad hoc panels to look into the circumstances that led to the surreptitious recall and reinstatement of Maina, former Chairman of the Pension Reforms Task Team (PRTT) under the Goodluck Jonathan administration.
Maina’s committee said it recovered over N1 trillion in cash and assets from pension thieves, but he was later accused of helping himself to some of the loots he purportedly recovered.
In 2013, Maina was sacked from the Civil Service for absconding from duty. He was later declared wanted by the EFCC and the police on allegations of pension fraud, but he fled the country.
He was secretly reinstated into the Service in October, but his reinstatement was short-lived, as Buhari ordered that the move be reversed.
So far, the ministries of justice and interior, as well as the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation, have been traded blames over the reinstatement.