President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government secretly reinstated fugitive former chairman of the Presidential Task Team on Pension Reforms, Abdulrasheed Maina, into the civil service.
Before his appointment to chair the pension task force, Maina who was an assistant director in the ministry and who is wanted by the EFCC was secretly recalled and promoted to the position of director in charge of Human Resources in the Ministry of Interior under Buhari.
According to a new report Premium Times, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has now launched a fresh manhunt for Maina, who was sacked from the civil service in 2013 and was in 2015 placed on the wanted list of International Police (INTERPOL) by the EFCC.
Additional details obtained show that the embattled civil servant was issued a letter of reinstatement dated October 2 by the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation.
The Minister of Interior, Abdurahman Dambazau, earlier on Sunday, absolved himself of any culpability in Maina’s reinstatement, saying it was done by the Head of Service.
The October 2 letter claimed that Maina’s case was reviewed and that a decision was taken that he be reinstated. The same letter also gave his new posting as acting director of the Department of Human Resources at the Ministry of Interior.
It was learnt that the reinstatement was at the behest of the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, who gave a favourable legal advice on the case.
Irked by the news of Maina’s silent re-entry into the country, the EFCC leadership convened an emergency meeting on Sunday to strategize on the case.
A source, who was part of the meeting, said the commission’s boss, Ibrahim Magu, who was out of Abuja, convened a meeting of operatives working on the case.
As part of the fallouts of the meeting, according to a source, operatives were detailed “to smoke out Mr. Maina wherever he might be”.
Maina is said to be shuttling between Kaduna and Abuja since he sneaked back into the country.
Aside the Ministry of Interior, Maina’s new workplace, detectives are said to have spread around the city, including a safe house that is said to have been offered Mr. Maina by one of the nation’s security agencies.
Also being closely watched by operatives are Maina’s many houses in Abuja including one EFCC sources said he bought in June 2015 for a massive $2 million cash.
EFCC spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, told a correspondent that Maina “is still a fugitive. We are after him”.
The EFCC is also said to be deeply angry at how someone that was put on the wanted list of INTERPOL could be helped by government officials to sneak back into the country and then rewarded with a promotion to higher office.
The commission suspects sabotage, according to a highly placed official.