Chairman Pension Reforms Task Team (PRTT) Abdulrasheed Maina, who has disappeared from the public scene lately, risks summary dismissal if he fails to respond to a query for alleged gross misconduct within 72 hours.
Maina is heading a task force team for the recovery of stolen pension funds, but Senate committee report said his team had itself mismanaged over N197 bn pensioners’ money.
Maina had snubbed six different invitations to appear before an investigation committee, and when the upper chamber ordered for his arrest, the Police claimed they could not find him.
The Senate on Thursday asked President Goodluck Jonathan to dismiss Maina or else the relationship between the Senate and the President will go sour.
The President on Friday directed the Inspector General of police to arrest Maina and present him to the senators. At the same time, Jonathan asked the Head of Service of the Federation Isa Bello Sali to take disciplinary action against Maina.
Sources told Daily Trust last night that the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Interior had issued Maina with a query for absconding from office without permission. The query has been received by Maina’s staff that has placed it on his table.
A source who spoke on condition of anonymity said the public service rule on this is clear. ‘Every civil servant has his known address, and such letters are delivered to our known addresses. It could be the office during working hours or at home after close of work. If after 72 hours there is no response to the query, it will be summary dismissal. All the initial problems that brought about the query could be brushed aside, when your bosses are looking for you and you are nowhere to be found, the rules are clear,” the source said.
Another source who is familiar with Maina’s case said the man had acquired enormous power and influence over the years because his job kept expanding.
The source said: “ Maina is an Assistant Director at CIPPO, (Customs, Immigration, and Prison Pension Office) a place normally headed by a director. Under former head of service Steve Oronsaye, Maina was appointed chairman of a task force to sort out the mess that had developed in the payment of pension to men of the Custom, Immigration and Prison service. Oronsaye later added pension department in the head of service’s office to Maina’s work. When Prof Afolabi became head of service, he expanded Maina’s work to cover police pension and it became Presidential Task Force.
“How did it become presidential, when did President Jonathan set up the team, who are the members, who is the secretary? , the source queried. “It is one big mess, apparently some people are benefitting from it,” he added.
On his part, the spokesman of the team, Hassan Salihu, stated to Daily Trust on phone that Maina and his staff “are not in communication with him; no member has communicated with him since.”
However, a reliable source at the head of service said, “Maina will present himself if his life and that of his family will be secure”.