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Thursday, 25 January 2018

AGF, Malami says he’s ready to facilitate Maina’s recall but gives condition

AGF, Malami says he’s ready to facilitate Maina’s recall but gives condition

Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami

Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation (AGF), says if “hundreds” of Abdulrasheed Maina have information for the good of the country, he will meet them.

Maina, former chairman of the presidential task force on pension reforms, was recalled and deployed to the ministry of interior, under controversial circumstances.

Amid the outcry of the news of his reinstatement, President Muhammadu Buhari ordered his sack and asked Oyo-Ita to probe the embarrassing situation.

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The federal civil service commission dismissed Maina in 2013, for absconding from duty, following a recommendation by the office of the head of service.

He was accused of being involved in pension fraud running into over N100 billion. After an investigation by the senate joint committee on public service and establishment and state and local government administration, a warrant of arrest was issued against him.

Subsequently, the police declared him wanted and he went into hiding.

Recall how Malami played a role in the reinstatement of Maina.

Speaking with The Interview, Malami said if public interest demanded that Maina be brought back in the interest of fighting corruption he would “definitely” do it.

He said at the time the Maina reinstatement issue was “all over the place” he was surprised because it was “work in progress”.

“It boils down to whether I have indeed acted or I have not. If hundreds of Mainas that believe they had information to offer as far as the protection of the national interest is concerned, I will meet them and I will do so again,” the AGF said.

“Do I have the responsibility of taking Nigerians into confidence? If for example I have taken a decision – you are jumping to conclusions about the reinstatement.

“I told you it was work in progress. At the end of the day, if the public interest demands that I should bring Maina back, I will definitely do so for the purpose of enhancing the fight against corruption.

“It was work in progress as far as the ministry of justice is concerned. As at October 5, there was a letter that was developed by a line officer, advising that Maina should be reinstated.”

He said when he met Maina in Abu Dhabi in 2016, Buhari was not aware until they got back to the country from the trip.

“At the time the meeting was held (with Maina), Mr President was not aware. But much later, after we returned back home, I took Mr President into confidence about the information and sought for leave to share it with other agencies with the purpose of blocking leakages.

That was the extent to which the president was aware of the information. He came to be aware of the meeting with Maina much later,” Malami said.

“It was out of the desire to seek for his directives relating to the information in terms of its application for the purpose blocking leakages associated with the looting of pension funds.”

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