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Emerging report reveals that four days after the order of President Muhammadu Buhari for the “immediate disengagement” of the embattled ex-Chairman of the Presidential Task Team on Pension Reforms, Abdulrasheed Maina, from the Federal Civil Service, the process leading to his disengagement is yet to commence.
Findings revealed that the process for disengaging a Civil Servant from the system, as laid down in the Rules and Regulations of the Service, would require strict adherence to Civil Service Rules and Procedures, in order to avoid its nullification through the judicial process.
A serving Director in one of the Federal Government Ministries, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution, explained that irrespective of the gravity of the offence, an accused person was entitled to an opportunity to defend himself or herself, before further action could be taken.
He however, added that in the event the person failed to honour the summons when opportunities were provided, a decision to discipline in accordance with the Rules would apply.
The Director stated: “It will require first that a query be issued to the person concerned; he can then be warned as the case may be, and then a Board/Committee will be set up to investigate the matter.

“And in the course of its investigations, the Board has powers, according to our Rules, to summon the accused person to defend himself. It is after this procedure is carefully followed, that further action can be taken.”
Commenting on the Presidential order, he said: “Yes, the President has spoken. My understanding of what he said is that the Civil Service Commission, which has the statutory duty of hiring and firing, should commence the procedure of ensuring that this happens.
“Mr. President that I know is a man that follows procedure; that is why some of his actions are being misinterpreted to mean he is slow.”
When contacted on whether or not the process had commenced, the Director of Press and Public Relations of the Federal Civil Service Commission, Dr. Joel Oruche, said he was not in a position to speak on the matter, because he had no information on it.
“I do not have any information on that (whether Maina has been disengaged from service). I do not have any information to give you. No comment.”

Elsewhere, a Lagos-based Legal Practitioner, Jiti Ogunye, said the President had no power to sack a Civil Servant, stating that the President could “set the ball rolling”, by asking the FCSC to begin the process of sacking Maina.
He explained that the Commission would be expected to set up a Disciplinary Committee, which would then query Maina, and based on his response, recommend a dismissal.
Ogunye however, said the FCSC could sack Maina without following the usual procedure, if it could be established that his reinstatement was illegal ab initio, and therefore null and void.
He said: “Rule 04412, which deals with summary dismissal in case of gross misconduct; allows the FCSC, having followed the disciplinary procedure, allows them to dismiss him.
“In Maina’s case, when in 2013 he absconded from work, he was issued a query which was dated February 15, 2013, and thereafter, when he did not respond or show up, he was eventually dismissed in a letter, dated March 5, 2013.
“So, he was dismissed properly, and having been dismissed properly and then purportedly reinstated with all the institutions that acted now having to answer to the President, who has a right to query them.
“I think in the process of looking into the matter, if it is found that the purported reinstatement did not follow the right procedure and was improper, the status quo would just prevail.
“In other words, you do not need to sack him, but just nullify his purported reinstatement, such that his earlier sacking in 2013 would hold.”
This however, was despite an announcement from the Presidency, on Thursday, that an Abuja Magistrates Court, as well as the Interpol, had issued fresh warrants for Maina’s arrest.

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