The Presidency on Tuesday said President Muhammadu Buhari followed due process in ordering the immediate disengagement of the former Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms, Abdulrasheed Maina, from service.
The justification is coming after Nigerians questioned the legality of the president’s action.
Quoting Public Service Rules and Section 11 (1)(b)of the Interpretation Act, Cap I 23, Vol.8, LFN, 2004,), Jiti Ogunye, a lawyer, said “it is the Federal Civil Service Commission or the Permanent Secretary or Heads of Extra Ministerial Department as the case may be (to whom disciplinary powers are delegated) that have the statutory power to mete disciplinary actions, including dismissal (or sack ) to civil servants.”
He said the president lacks the power to ”sack or direct the sack of Mr. Maina.”
Reacting to the controversy however, the Presidency, on its Twitter handle, NGRPresident, insisted that ”due process was followed in ordering the sack.”
“Reports that due process was not followed in the disengagement of Mr. Maina from service are incorrect”‘ the tweet read.
“The President directed the appropriate authorities to effect the disengagement in compliance with due process.
“President Buhari will continue to ensure that due process is followed every step of the way.”
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, had in a statement on Monday announced Mr. Maina’s disengagement.
Mr. Adesina said the President had also directed the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, to submit a report on the circumstances surrounding Maina’s reinstatement to his Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, before the close of work.
Mr. Adesina confirmed that the report had been submitted to Mr.Buhari late Monday evening while appearing on a live national TV programme.