Interior ministry’s perm sec’s claim on Maina fraudulent, says ex-minister Ogunlewe

…demands judicial commission of inquiry on matter

A former minister of works, Senator Adeseye Ogulewe, has lambasted the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration over its handling of the case of the fleeing former chairman of the Presidential Taskforce on Pension Reform Team, Abdulrasheed Maina.
Ogunlewe specifically criticised the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior, Mr. Magaji Abubakar, for claiming responsibility for the reinstatement of Maina to the civil service.
Magaji had told the House of Representatives’ Adhoc Committee investigating the disappearance, reappearance and reinstatement of Maina that a mistake he made led to the re-absorption of the ex-pension boss.
But Ogulewe, who is also a former senator, told our correspondent that it was glaring that Magaji’s claim on the Maina saga was part of an arrangement by top actors in government to cover up their paths in the murky deal that saw Maina back in the civil service.
He said there were various loopholes in Magaji’s claim, betraying the fact that he was instructed to put the blame on himself in order to shift the blame from the concerned people.
Ogunlewe said, “I have been in the civil service before and I have been a permanent secretary. There is no way a permanent secretary can take a decision independent of the honourable minister. It is not possible. In any part of the world, the permanent secretary is not the head of the ministry and can never take a decision independent of the minister or the Federal Civil Service Commission. Mogaji is not saying the truth; he is just playing a script.
“Definitely, there are some people behind the scene, who had written the script and want him to play it out. And that is bureaucracy for you. Bureaucracy has a structure, a system, and it is clear. If I may ask, how did the file or letter get to his table? It must have come from somewhere. And final decision in any ministry is not from the permanent secretary. No way!
“Maina is not a staff of the Ministry of Interior; he is a staff of the Federal Civil Service Commission. He is not a junior staff. Any senior staff above level six is managed by the civil service commission of the state or federal. That is the procedure. So, a permanent secretary doesn’t employ a director or assistant director. He can never take decision on a director.
He urged the Federal Government to set up a Judicial Commission of Inquiry to truly get to the roots of the circumstances surrounding the Maina saga.
“The issue is too deep; the money involved is too much to be swept under the carpet. We must have a judicial commission of inquiry on the matter under the Supreme Court and let everybody come before the court, under oath, or let
them bring the file and see who gave out the file,” Ogunlewe said.