Nigeria confirms reinstatement of official accused of misappropriating pension fund
The Minister of Interior, retired Lt.-Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau, has confirmed the resumption of duty by former Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms, Mr Abdulrasheed Maina, as an Acting Director in his ministry.
The confirmation came in a statement issued by the Press Secretary to the minister, Mr Ehisienmen Osaigbovo, on Sunday. Osaigbovo, however, debunked media reports that his principal was one of those responsible for Maina’s “re-instatement”.
“Maina was posted few days ago to the Ministry of Interior by the Office of the Head of Service on an Acting capacity to fill a vacancy created following the retirement of the Director heading the Human Resources Department in the Ministry.
“For the avoidance of doubt, issues relating to discipline, employment, re-engagement, posting, promotion and retirements of federal civil servants are the responsibility of the Federal Civil Service Commission and Office of the Head of Service of the Federation.
“No minister exercises such powers as erroneously expressed in this publication.
“It is understood that Maina’s last posting was with the Ministry of Interior, and that is probably why he was re-posted back to the ministry,” he said.
Maina was appointed by former President Goodluck Jonathan as Chairman of the task force in 2010 to check the corruption in the country’s pension system.
In 2012, the Nigeria Police accused him of misappropriating N100 billion pension funds in connivance with others. The Civil Service Commission reportedly dismissed him for “absconding from duty’’.
Maina was arraigned in absentia by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which declared him wanted in 2015.
The anti-graft agency, through its spokesman, Mr Wilson Uwujaren, says the former pension task force chairman remains on the commission’s wanted list.
Sunday’s confirmation by the minister followed reports in the online media that Maina had been secretly re-instated and promoted to the rank of director in the ministry.
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