Former President Olusegun Obasanjo criticised the secret reinstatement of fugitive former civil servant, Abdulrasheed Maina, into the civil service.
He said Mr. Maina’s secret reinstatement was not consistent with President Muhammadu Buhari’s avowed war on corruption.
Thisday reports that the former president spoke at the 2017 Foundation Day Public Lecture titled: “Corruption and the Challenges of the African Child” on Saturday in Ibadan.
He also warned Mr. Buhari that there must not be any “sacred cows” in the fight against corruption.
“Corruption must be punished, and must be seen to be punished.
“Any accomplice in corruption and cover-up and any failure to punish must also earn punishment.
“We cannot afford to have sacred cows in the fight against corruption. The Maina saga should never have been allowed to occur. It is not in tandem with the fight against corruption,” Mr. Obasanjo said.
Also reacting, the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS asked the federal government to ‘swiftly with unrestrained alacrity’ suspend all heads of commission and ministries complicit in the secret reinstatement.
The union warned that it will go on nationwide protest if its demands are not met within seven days.
“The Head of the Service of the Federation as well as the Chairman of the Federal Civil Service Commission deserves nothing but immediate suspension from office and probe for allowing themselves to be caught in this cobweb of professional misconduct,” Chinonso Obasi, the president of the union said In a statement on Sunday.
PREMIUM TIMES recently broke the news of the shocking recall and promotion of Mr. Maina, which had been shrouded in secrecy.
This paper also reported how the recall was apparently masterminded by the Attorney General, Abubakar Malami and the Interior Minister, Abdurahman Dambazau.
Mr. Maina was in 2013 dismissed by the Federal Civil Service Commission for absconding from office. He is accused of leading massive corruption of about N2 billion when he served as chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team.
Afterwards, he turned fugitive, as the Police and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission sought his arrest.
Since PREMIUM TIMES broke the news of his recall, Mr. Maina has gone back into hiding. Although his recall has been rescinded by President Buhari, the president is yet to act on a report by the Head of Service on how the fugitive was recalled into the civil service.
The Nigerian senate last week asked Mr. Buhari to bring those behind the reinstatement to book without further delay.