The absence of Interior Minister, Abdulrahman Danbazzau, on Wednesday stalled the commencement of the Senate investigation into the controversial re-instatement into civil service of former Chairman of the Presidential Task Team on Pension Reforms, Abdulrasheed Maina.
The Senate ad-hoc Committee led by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Establishment and Public Services, Emmanuel Paulker, was to begin its sittings on the matter in Wednesday but following Danbazzau’s absence, it could not continue.
The committee told the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior, Abubakar Maigaji, who had come to represent Danbazzau that it was only the Minister that could be granted audience.
Paulker however noted that the committee would be transparent in the probe adding that nobody will be witch hunted.
Senator Paulker said, “It should be stated for the purpose of emphasis that the National Assembly, which is constitutionally saddled with the responsibilities to perform this exercise, is not expected to base its conclusion on the preponderance of views being expressed from members of the public, hence the need to conduct this investigative hearing diligently so that we can make appropriate recommendations to the Senate.
“For the avoidance of doubt, it is pertinent to categorically state that we are not on a witch hunting mission, but to perform our mandate in line with the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended and the Senate Standing Rules.”
It would be recalled that Senate President Bukola Saraki had on October 24, constituted an adhoc committee chaired by the committee chairman on Public Service and Establishment, Emmanuel Paulker to investigate the matter.
The committee was mandated to investigate the circumstances surrounding the return of Maina to the country and how he returned to the civil service as a director.
Other members of the Ad-hoc Committee are the Chairmen and Vice Chairmen of Senate Committees on Anti- Corruption and Financial Crimes; Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters; Interior and Vice Chairman of Senate Committee on Establishment and Public Services.
Saraki had said, “We are all very disturbed. I want the committee to work hard and bring this matter back to us. We need to investigate the bridge in our security and how the anti-corruption war is going.”
It would be recalled that the Senators who had indicted Malami and Dambazau for being responsible for the Maina saga during plenary October 24, took time to speak during discussions on the point of Order raised by Isa Misau (APC, Bauchi State) on the return of Maina in a very controversial manner.
OWEDE AGBAJILEKE, Abuja