There was a mild drama at the Council Chambers in the state house Abuja yesterday where the Chief of Staff to President Buhari, Abba Kyari and the Head of Service, Winifred Oyo-Ita, engaged in a heated argument before Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, over the leaked memo concerning the reinstated fugitive and ex-pension boss, Abdulrasheed Maina, into the state house. A video making the rounds on social media, shows the public officers arguing before Osinbajo.
Sources in the presidency say that President Buhari after the Federal Executive Council meeting, summoned Oyo-Ita and Kyari to his office. President Buhari is said to be embarrassed by the confrontation the two senior officials had in front of other government officials inside the council chambers.
Oyo-Ita in a memo dated October 23rd, indicted President Buhari in the controversial reinstatement of the wanted former chairman of the Presidential Taskforce on Pension Reforms, Abdulrasheed Maina, into the civil service. Maina who was dismissed from office in 2013, has been accused of corrupt practices to the tune of N2.1 billion. Maina was mysteriously reinstated and even made a director in the Ministry of Interior on October 22nd. After much public outcry, President Buhari on Monday, October 23rd, ordered that Maina be disengaged from the civil service and that the Head of Service should present a report on how Maina who has been declared wanted by the EFCC and INTERPOL, found his way into the Civil service.
Oyo-Ita in a report which she sent on October 23rd, said President Buhari was aware of the plans to reinstate Maina into the civil service and that she had warned against it. In hger memo, she stated that on October 11 after a Federal Executive Council meeting, she accosted President Buhari and expressed her fears over Maina’s reinstatement. According to her, his reinstatement would make a mockery of the anti-corruption fight of the administration.
The memo found its way to the media and this has caused a friction in the presidency.