From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
Facts have merged on how the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) twisted a Federal High Court judgment in favour of Maina to facilitate his reinstatement into the Federal Civil Service.
The AGF had in a letter dated April 27, 2017 and addressed to the Head of Service of the Federation (HoSF), directed the office to reinstate Maina on the strength of the judgment delivered by Justice Adamu Bello of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on March 27, 2013.
In the said letter, Malami had twice directed the reinstatement of Maina as Director in the Federal Civil Service on the ground that the warrant of arrest issued against him by the Police had been set aside by Justice Bello.
The AGF’s letter was, however, silent on the grievous allegation of embezzlement of over N2 billion pension funds for which Maina was being investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The letter also failed to address the fact that Maina was declared wanted by the anti-graft agency.
Besides, Malami’s did not also disclose the fact that Justice Bello in the said judgment counseled Maina to surrender himself for investigation so as to clear himself of the grievous financial allegation against him.
The said letter marked: Ref. HAGF/FCSC/2017/Vol. 1/3, addressed to the Federal Civil Service Commission, reads:
“Attn: Deaconess J. O. Ayo, OON
Re: Demand for update on the re-instatement of Mr. Abdulrasheed Abdulahi Maina as Director in the Federal Civil Service.
“Your letter on the above captioned subject matter refrenced FCSC/CHMN/OC/17/Vol. XIV/209 dated 3rd March 2017 and the letters copied to the Office of the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation by the office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation on the same subject matter respectively referenced HCSF/LU/COR/FCSC/749/III/84 dated 27th March 2017 and 20 April 2017 refer (copied attached).
“You would recall that I wrote your office vide a letter refrenced HAGF/FCSC/2017/Vol. 1/2 dated 21 February 2017 wherein I drew your attention to the legal import of the judgment delivered by his lordship honourable Justice A. Bello of the Federal High Court, Abuja Judicial Division on Wedmesday the 27th day of March, 2013 in suit No FHC/Abj/CS/65/13 (Abdulrasheed Maina vs the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria & 8 Ors), a suit which my office represented the Federal Government of Nigeria.
“In my said letter, I directed your office to give a consequential effect to the said judgment which voided the warrant of arrest issued by the Police against Dr. Abdulrasheed A. Maina, which warrant of arrest formed the basis for the query referenced MI/30040/1/1 dated the 15th day of February, 2013 and his eventual dismissal from the service of the Federal Government of Nigeria on the 5th day of March 2013.
“Having reviewed all the correspondence vis-a-vis the court judgment. I hereby write to reiterate my earlier directive and further direct that you give a consequential effect to the aforesaid judgment by taking necessary steps to ensure immediate reinstatement of Dr. Maina to his duty post as a Director in the Federal Civil Service to enable him continue his service to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
“Please accept, Honourable Chairman, the assurances of my best regards always.”
The letter was copied to the Head of Service of the Federation and the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior.
However, the Justice Adamu Bello’s judgment relied on by the AGF did not clear Maina of the alleged N2 billion fraud against him on the pension fund.
In addition, the court in its judgment, only faulted the process, which led to the issuance of the warrant of arrest and consequently set aside the warrant.
The judgment of the court equally counseled Maina to surrender himself to the authorities for investigation over the alleged N2 billion fraud.
Maina had in 2013, approached the Abuja division of the Federal High Court for the enforcement of his fundamental right as well as quashing the warrant of arrest issued against him by the police at the instance of the Senate, when he refused to honour Senate invitation.
Those Joined in the suit were the Senate, Senate President, Clerk of the Senate, Senate Committee on Establishment and Public Service, Senate Committee on State and Local Government Administration, Inspector General of Police, Attorney General of the Federation, Senator Alloysius Etok and Senator Kabiru Gaya.