Senate surprised by Malami's attempt to stop investigation

The Senate wondered if the AGF is trying to suppress the truth about the scandal.

The AGF had filed a lawsuit in the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Monday, January 8, 2018, to stop the Senate from investigating the scandal, arguing that it lacks the "legislative competence" to do so.

In a statement signed by the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, the Senate wondered if the AGF is trying to suppress the truth.

Senator Abdullahi also revealed that the Senate has already asked the committee investigating the scandal to expedite the probe so as to prevent any further attempt to bury the truth.

He said, "We are wondering what the AGF is afraid of. When he appeared before our committee, he was well received and fairly treated. He indeed expressed his happiness with the protection given to him by the  committee handling the Maina case. Why then is it very important and urgent for him to stop the investigative hearing? What is the AGF trying to hide?

"Let it be known that the legislature has the power of investigation on all institutions, bodies and individuals, particularly those who access funds that have been appropriated by us. We however expressed our commendation to the judiciary for upholding the principles of separation of powers and insisting on fair hearing. We believe that is the reason why the judge refused to grant the prayers of the AGF yesterday and rather insisted that the National Assembly should be put on notice and served all the court processes so that we could enter our own defence.

"While we respect the position of the court and would respond accordingly, the Senate has further directed the committee investigating the Maina issue to expedite action and submit their reports on time. The Senate believes Nigerians are interested in knowing the how, who , why and where of what is now known as the 'Maina Gate'. We definitely will not allow those who want the facts buried to prevail."

Justice Binta Nyako had struck out Malami's ex parte motion on Monday, ordering him to put the National Assembly on notice as there was no urgency to grant the motion.

Maina's controversial reinstatement

In October 2017, Maina was recalled and promoted to head the Ministry of Interior's human resource department despite pending corruption charges against him.

This was after he was dismissed by the Federal Civil Service Commission in 2013 following a recommendation by the Office of the Head of Service.

In 2015, Maina was charged alongside former Head of Service, Steve Oronsaye, Osarenkhoe Afe and Fredrick Hamilton Global Services Limited before a Federal High Court on a 24-count charge bordering on procurement fraud and obtaining by false pretence through the award of fraudulent biometric contracts.

After he was declared wanted over an alleged N2 billion pension fraud, he fled abroad to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), evading the capture of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

AGF Malami; Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau; the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior, Abubakar Magaji; and Head of Service, Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita, have all been implicated in the scandal.

Malami denies writing letter of reinstatement

While appearing before the House of Representatives ad-hoc committee probing the issue on November 30, 2017, the AGF continued to insist that the letter of reinstatement that kickstarted the whole Maina controversy never had his authorisation despite bearing the seal of his office.

He informed the Aliyu Madaki-led committee that an investigation was already underway to determine how the letter was initiated and sent out, and that results of the investigation will be forwarded to the committee.

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