Abdulrahman Dambazau, the minister of interior, has denied any complicit in the recall and promotion of wanted former Chairman of Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT) Abdulrasheed Abdullahi Maina.
Dambazau, in a statement by his press secretary, Ehisienmen Osaigbovo, on Sunday, October 22, 2017 said Maina was recalled through the office of the head of service.
News broke last week that Mr. Maina, who oversaw the biggest pensions fraud in Nigeria’s history, the N165 billion fraud uncovered under former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration had been secretly recalled, promoted, and assigned to the Ministry of Interiors.
In November 2015, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) declared Maina wanted over his alleged role in the N2bn pension biometric contracts scam, and listed him on its website as one of its wanted persons.
Three months before this, he was charged alongside three others before a federal high court on a 24-count bordering on procurement fraud and obtaining money under false pretences.
The statement reads: “The ex- Chairman of the Presidential Task Force Team on Pension Reforms Abdulrasheed Maina was posted few days ago to the ministry of interior by the office of the head of service in an acting capacity to fill a vacancy created following the retirement of the director heading the human resources department in the ministry,” the minister said in a statement by Ehisienmen Osaigbovo, his spokesman.
“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, of which 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.
“It is, therefore, improper for anybody to think that a minister could exercise such powers or influence the process of Discipline, Re-engagement, and Deployment of any civil servant to his Ministry or any other Ministry for that matter. Again such responsibility is that of the Federal Civil Service Commission and/or the Head of Civil Service.
“In any case, the relevant institutions of government are alive to their responsibilities regarding the allegations confronting Mr. Maina.”