Nigerians Hail Buhari Despite His Lack Of Power To Sack Maina
Nigeria News take a look at the speed with which President Muhammadu Buhari sacked former Chairman, Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms, Abdulrasheed Maina and the legal implication.
President Muhammadu Buhari has enjoyed many accolades in the last 48 hours after he ordered the disengagement of the former Chairman, Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms, Abdulrasheed Maina from the civil service.
Nigerians took to social media, commending the Buhari of taking the right decision even when it is clear that the president lacks the power to do so.
The return of Maina to the country is still a misery and his subsequent reinstatement as director in the Ministry of Interior is irritating. Since he was alleged to have involved in a N2 billion pension scam and dismissed by the past administration of President Goodluck Jonathan, the former pension boss had gone into hiding.
He was on the wanted list of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC as at the time he wrote the promotion examination organized by the Federal Civil Service Commission and consequently promoted to the position of deputy director.
As a matter of fact, his reinstatement was approved by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Mallam and was deployed in the Ministry of Interior.
Maina’s story infuriated Buhari when the Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Professor Itse Sagay cried out, urging the president to arrest Maina as a matter of urgency to keep his integrity.
While President Muhammadu Buhari is being applauded for dousing the tension in the Nigeria which emanated from the reinstatement of a man with questionable actions, Abdulrasheed Maina as a Director in the Ministry of Interior, the important question is whether the President has the constitutional right to terminate the employment of a civil servant in the Public Service of the Federation, without following the due process of law.
The Office of the Head of Service (HoS) and Dambazzau’s Ministry of the Interior have publicly issued official statements that Maina was recalled and posted to the Ministry of Interior.
They have also alleged and counter alleged themselves of involving in the complicity that led to the reabsorption of Maina.
While Nigerians were totally unaware, Abdulrasheed Maina was brought back into Nigeria and officially reintegrated in the Public Service of the Federation. Thus, Maina, before the President’s directive was in the civil service of the Federation.
Speaking of the law guiding the sack of Maina, a constitutional lawyer, Mr. Jiti Ogunye posited that under the law (Public Service Rules and Section 11 (1)(b) of the Interpretation Act, Cap I 23, Vol.8, LFN, 2004,), it is the Federal Civil Service Commission or the Permanent Secretary or Heads of Extra-Ministerial Department as the case may be (to whom disciplinary powers are delegated) that have the statutory power to mete disciplinary actions, including dismissal ( or sack ) to civil servants .
He said that in particular, Rule 04102 of the Public Service Rules provides that “the power to dismiss and to exercise disciplinary control over officers in the Federal Civil Service Commission is vested in the FCSC.
This power may be delegated to any member of the Commission or any officer in the Federal Civil Service”
Legally, therefore, the President lacks the power to sack or direct the Sack of Maina.
But the President has the constitutional power to dismiss/sack his AGF, the Minister of the Interior and any political appointee including his Chief of Staff who are reported to have masterminded and orchestrated the Maina fiasco.
Now that the reports surrounding the circumstances with which Maina was reinstated have been submitted to the president, one would expect that Mr. Buhari takes an urgent action to stop some members of his cabinet that have continued to stain his image.
As it stands now, the president had exercise illegal power by sacking Maina while he had refused to touch members of his cabinet who had conspired to bring Maina back into the service.