The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior, Abubakar Magaji, has owned up to administrative lapses in the purported reinstatement of dismissed former Chairman, Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina.
Magaji conceded the responsibility when he appeared before members of House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee investigating the “disappearance, reappearance, reinstatement and promotion of Maina’’ in Abuja on Thursday.
According to him, the reference letter made to inform the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation that Maina resumed duty was a letter sent to the Federal Civil Service Commission.
“When I observed this upon resumption from sick leave, I quickly replied to the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Winifred Oyo-Ita, apologising to her about the reference letter.
“But service is an institution, whatever happened in the process of the minutes, the permanent secretary is the head of the administration and I am here to take responsibility.
“Whatever the Interior Ministry has done wrongly in accordance with the way the administrative matter has been done to the end of this matter, I take responsibility because I cannot reject.
“I am the permanent secretary, head of administration and I take responsibility for any administrative wrongdoing that Ministry of Interior has done,’’ Magaji said.
Earlier, Oyo-Ita had insisted that the ministry acted in error on the issue, stating that the letter of Maina’s reinstatement was not endorsed by the Head of Civil Service of the Federation and the letter of posting not delivered to him.
According to her, the Ministry of Interior did not wait to get posting directives from the Head of Civil Service but it went ahead to act on advance copy issued by the Federal Civil Service Commission.
Oyo-Ita, therefore, insisted that Maina was not reinstated into the service.
“The Federal Civil Service Commission considered the administrative aspect of the case which is punishable by dismissal and the letter reinstating Maina has not been delivered.
“Therefore, he stands dismissed and was never reinstated into the service,’’ she said.
In his submission, the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, said that his office had commenced investigation into the letter directing Maina’s reinstatement.
Malami said that though work was in progress over Maina’s demand to be reinstated based on a court judgment, “the letter of his reinstatement may not have emanated from my office as at Oct. 5, 2017’’.
He maintained that he did not author nor sign letters purported to have emanated from his office directing the Federal Civil Service Commission to cause Maina’s reinstatement.
“The request for Maina’s reinstatement as submitted to my office by Maina’s lawyers was a work-in-progress as at Oct. 5, 2017,’’ he added.
He told the committee that he had set up a panel of enquiry headed by the Solicitor-General and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry to investigate issues revolving around the letter.