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Maina: Court Rejects AGF’s Request To Stop Senate Probe

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Maina: Court Rejects AGF’s Request To Stop Senate Probe

The Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday refused the request by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, to stop the Senate from probing the reinstatement of former Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms, Mr. Abdulrasheed Maina, into the Civil Service.

Both the Senate and the House of Representatives are probing into the controversial reinstatement of Maina.

The AGF had filed an ex-parte motion, praying the court for an order of injunction stopping the probe embarked upon by the Senate pending the determination of his substantive suit.

But Justice Binta Nyako, who heard the AGF’s ex parte application in chambers on Monday, ordered the AGF to put the National Assembly on notice.

Justice Nyako also directed that the court processes should be served on the National Assembly to enable it to appear before the court to show cause why the orders sought by the AGF should not be granted.

The court then adjourned until January 15 for the National Assembly to show cause why AGF’s request should not be granted.

In his substantive suit, the AGF had determined whether the National Assembly had the right to probe issues relating to the “employment, attendance at work, disengagement, reinstatement and or promotion of a civil servant”.

He also asked the court to declare that, “the employment, attendance at work, disengagement, reinstatement and or promotion of a civil servant are matters outside the exclusive and concurrent legislative lists contained in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended);

“That the National Assembly cannot legitimately regulate the employment, attendance at work, disengagement, reinstatement and or promotion of a civil servant, which are matters exclusively within the purview of the Federal Civil Service Commission under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria1999 (as amended);

“That the National Assembly lacks the legislative competence to investigate the employment, attendance at work, disengagement, reinstatement and or promotion of a civil servant which are matters exclusively within the purview of the Federal Civil Service Commission under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria1999 (as amended).”

The AGF contended that the power of investigation vested on the National Assembly by section 88 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) was limited.

He, therefore, argued that the investigative powers of the Senate could only be exercised within the confines of Section 88 (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).

Maina who was dismissed from service in 2013 following a recommendation by the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation, was recalled last year and deployed to the Ministry of Interior under controversial circumstances.

Maina, who was wanted over allegations of misappropriating pension funds levelled against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, was dismissed from the federal civil service in 2013.

He had fled the country but was recalled in controversial circumstances in 2017, promoted and deployed to the Ministry of Interior.

Malami was said to have a hand in Maina’s reinstatement.

The AGF had in a letter with Ref. No. HAGF/FCSC/2017/Vol. 1/3, directed the FCSC to give consequential effect to a judgment he said voided the process that led to Maina’s dismissal from service.

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