The Permanent Secretary Ministry of Interior, Abubakar Magaji has owned up to the controversy that surrounded the reinstatement of the Chairman, Pension Reform Task Force, Abdulrasheed Maina that he acted on the letter he got from Head of Service, Winifred Oyo-Ita adding that the letter reinstating Maina could not have been acted upon if the HoS did not give authorization.
He made this revelation on Thursday while appearing before the House of Representatives Ad-Hoc Committee Investigative Hearing on the disappearance, reappearance, and promotion of Maina at the National Assembly in Abuja.
He also maintained that the Head of Service, Winifred Oyo-Ita was part of the meeting reinstating Maina and she was in full knowledge of the whole process. But in a swift reaction, the Head of Service insisted that she did not sign the letter, noting that the Ministry of Interior acted wrongly and illegally to have reinstated him. She, however, denied ever being part of any meeting.
The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun in her own submission at the hearing narrated that the federal government has no record of salary payment to Maina adding that his salary was stopped since 2013. She maintained that the former pension boss was not on the payroll of the government and did not receive a salary from the government after his disengagement.
"We use two platforms to pay salary and Maina's name was not found in any. There is no trace of Maina's biometrics on record and he was never a staff. He last collected his salary in March 2013," she said.
The position was corroborated by the Accountant General of the Federation, Mr. Ahmed Idris, who also revealed that Maina was last paid a salary in February 2013.
"He was removed from the payroll so I don't know where he was receiving the salary. If there was any payment of salary to Maina, there should be payslips and an account showing the payment was made. So let whoever made the claim tender the evidence to support the claim," Idris stated.
Also speaking at the investigative hearing the Chairman Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu told the panel that investigation into the pension fund predated current administration adding that the EFCC has no record of the money recovery by the panel. He added that Maina did not hand over any asset recovered to the commission.
Magu denied any collaboration by the commission with the former pension boss except the sponsorship involvement of his men in the biometrics exercise training.
But Counsel to Maina, Muhammadu Kuta claimed that his client received a salary up to October 2017, and treated about 23 files which contradicted the revelations that came from the Minister of Finance and Accountant General of Federation.
Explaining what he knew about the whole drama, the Director General of Department of State Service (DSS ), Mamman Daura noted that Maina's name was not on their watch list when he was declared wanted.
The Chairman of the committee, Sani Madaki, therefore, adjourned sine die.