The Presidency has replied the Senate that issued a two-day ultimatum to President Goodluck Jonathan to fire the Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, or face its wrath.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, said Maina’s fate could only be decided based on laid down civil service rule. Abati also said President Goodluck Jonathan was not backing Maina against the Senate contrary to the general feeling.
Abati acknowledged that the Senate had the constitutional right to summon anybody since nobody was above the law. Likewise, as a man that believes in the rule of law, the President believes that laid down procedure should be followed in addressing issues. He said the normal procedure was for the Head of Service of the Federation to take a decision concerning a civil servant according to civil service rule.
“The Senate has constitutional power to summon anybody. If such person failed to appear before them, the lawmakers are also empowered to issue warrant of arrest against the person. “The President has not in anyway stood in the way of the Senate in inviting Maina.
You will recall that the police even declared him wanted. “Maina is a civil servant. If he has done something that amounts to a breach of civil service rule, the appropriate office to do the right thing and ensure that due process is followed is the office of the Head of Service of the Federation. “Nobody should suggest that the President is backing Maina. It is not an issue for the President.
“There are laid down procedures for handling situations like this. The President believes in due process. It is a matter for the civil service to handle. The President does not have to be disciplining civil servants personally,” Abati said.