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Buhari, Dambazau Meet Over Maina

President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, met with Interior Affairs Minister, Lt. General Abdulrahman Dambazau (retd), over the rumpus caused by the recall of former chairman of the Presidential Task Team on Pension Reforms, Abdulrasheed Maina.

The Maina matter provoked the spat between the Head of Service of the Federation, Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita and Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari.

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Although details of what the President discussed with the minister remain shrouded in secrecy, sources told Vanguard, yesterday, that the President was obviously not happy about what transpired before he arrived the Council Chambers venue of Wednesday’s Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The source said the President was already addressing issues of the verbal exchange between the HoS and Chief of Staff.

Special Adviser to the President on Media & Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said in an interview on Nigerian Television Authority, NTA, yesterday, that President Buhari never summoned the Chief of Staff and HoS, over the spat they had at FEC meeting.

Recall that the HoS had said in a leaked letter that the President was aware of the reinstatement of the former chairman of the Presidential Task Team on Pension Reforms, Abdulrasheed Maina and that she warned against it.

It would be recalled also that the Chief of Staff had, at the FEC meeting threatened to query the HoS and that she must attach to her reply, photographic evidence of her visit to the President, a declaration that was said to have infuriated the HoS who took the matter to the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, for intervention.

The Minister of Interior Affairs, Abdulrahman Dambazau, had blamed Mr. Maina’s recall on the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation, HoS, and the Federal Civil Service Commission, while the HoS accused the Interior Minister of lying against her, following his earlier claim that her office posted Maina to his ministry as a director.

EFCC intensifies manhunt for Maina

Meanwhile, there were indications, yesterday, that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has intensified its search for the embattled former Chairman of the Presidential Task Team on Pension Reforms, Abdulrasheed Maina.

Maina, who disappeared into thin air since his secret reinstatement by powerful officials was exposed by the media, has made it impossible for security agencies to track him.

To avoid being tracked and arrested, Maina has carefully avoided using any of his known telephone lines either in Nigeria or the United Arab Emirates since he was sacked for the second time, last week, by President Muhammadu Buhari from his exalted post in the Ministry of Interior.

Findings by Vanguard indicated that of the eight numbers frequently used by Maina, all of them now report the same message: “The number you’re calling cannot receive calls at this time” or “The number you’re calling has been switched off.”

Maina’s numbers as released by the anti-graft agency include 08098887733, 08037872471, 08142277550, 07037900714, 08106842813, 08091501002, +971552717234 and +971526294678.

But multiple sources within the Nigerian Immigration Service, NIS, associates and security circles, suggested that the wanted man was still in hiding in Nigeria.

Additionally, checks with the NIS indicated that the man has not travelled through any of its facilities nationwide.

Although the Public Relations Officer of the NIS, Sunday James, an Assistant Controller of Immigration, declined to talk on the matter, an impeccable source in the agency told Vanguard that Maina was still in Nigeria.

The source said that checks at all airports and land outposts indicated that the suspect had not used any of the outlets to travel outside Nigeria since he was sacked last week. Armed with the intelligence that Maina had simply gone underground within the confines of Nigeria, EFCC had intensified its search for him.

Although the agency did not disclose the nature of its search, a knowledgeable source confirmed, last night, that the agency had widened its dragnet for the suspect.

“We will get him. We also encourage Nigerians with useful information about Maina’s movements to contact us,” a senior official of the anti-graft agency pleaded, last night.

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