The Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, has reportedly filed a suit before a federal high court in Abuja, seeking to stop the senate from probing the reinstatement of Abdulrasheed Maina into the civil service.
According to TheCable, the suit has been assigned to Justice Binta Nyako, a judge of the federal high court, Abuja.
Recall that there was an uproar in the polity in October last year after news broke that the former chairman of the Presidential Taskforce on Pension Reform, Abdulrasheed Maina, had been reinstated as a director in the Ministry of Interior.
After a public outcry, President Buhari ordered Maina’s immediate dismissal from public service and called for an investigation into the circumstances that led to his reinstatement. Maina was dismissed in 2013 for allegedly mismanaging N2 billion as Chairman of the pension reforms. He was declared wanted by the EFCC and INTERPOL. He currently still on the run.
The senate on October 24th 2017, mandated its committees on public service, internal affairs, anti-corruption, establishment and judiciary to probe the circumstances of Maina’s return to the country and the public service. The Attorney General appeared before the panel on November 15th and denied any involvement in Maina’s reinstatement. He has approached the court to determine if the Senate has the power to investigate the employment, disengagement, attendance, reinstatement and/or promotion of a civil servant.
According to court documents seen by TheCable, Malami is asking the court to among other things 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). Part of the court paper reads
“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). 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 power of investigation vested the national assembly by section 88 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) is limited and such that can only be exercised within the confines of Section 88 (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended). The plaintiff as the chief law officer and minister of justice of the federation is bound to ensure compliance by the Federal Government of Nigeria and or any of its cognate organs/agencies with the express or implied contents of extant Judgements and Orders of competent courts in Nigeria. The defendant cannot constitute itself into a quasi-appellate court, tribunal or panel with a view to reviewing any executive action taken in compliance with the adverse judgment in the said Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/65/2013.”