The Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami (SAN), has said President Muhammadu Buhari had no previous knowledge of his 2016 meeting with Abdulrasheed Maina.
According to him, the president was only briefed on the meeting after it had held. He said the briefing was to ask permission to share information shared by Maina with the relevant agencies, therefore blocking the leakages pointed out.
“At the time the meeting was held (with Maina), Mr President was not aware. But much later, after we returned back home, I took Mr President into confidence about the information and sought for leave to share it with other agencies with the purpose of blocking leakages. That was the extent to which the president was aware of the information. He came to be aware of the meeting with Maina much later,” Malami told The Interview.
“It was out of the desire to seek for his directives relating to the information in terms of its application for the purpose blocking leakages associated with the looting of pension funds,” he added.
Speaking on on Malami, he said Maina would be recalled if public interest demands it.
“It boils down to whether I have indeed acted or I have not. If hundreds of Mainas that believe they had information to offer as far as the protection of the national interest is concerned, I will meet them and I will do so again,” the AGF told The Interview.
“Do I have the responsibility of taking Nigerians into confidence? If, for example, I have taken a decision – you are jumping to conclusions about the reinstatement.
“I told you it was work in progress. At the end of the day, if the public interest demands that I should bring Maina back, I will definitely do so for the purpose of enhancing the fight against corruption.
“It was work in progress as far as the ministry of justice is concerned. As at October 5, there was a letter that was developed by a line officer, advising that Maina should be reinstated.”
Maina, former chairman of the presidential task force on pension reforms, was under unclear circumstances recalled and deployed to the ministry of interior in 2017. This after he was dismissed by the federal civil service commission in 2013 for absconding from duty.
The embarrassing situation had been waded int by the president who directed the service to immediately sack him.