Attorney General of the Federation(AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mallam Abubakar Malami, Tuesday appeared before Senate ad hoc Committee investigating re-appearance, reinstatement and promotion of former Chairman, Presidential Task Force on Pension Reform, Abdulrasheed Maina.
Malami who was invited to explain his role in the controversial re-appearance and reinstatement of Maina as a director in the ministry of Interior, was questioned by members of the committee in camera.
Anxious reporters who attempted to cover the investigative hearing were asked to leave the venue as the probe was not open for coverage.
The sensitivity of the issues surrounding Maina’s surreptitious return might have informed the decision of the committee to hold its meeting in secret.
The AGF was scheduled to appear before the committee on November 8 but he sought permission of the committee to appear Tuesday.
Chairman of the Committee, Senator Emmanuel Paulker (Bayelsa Central) who asked reporters to leave after brief opening remarks, commended the AGF for appearing before the committee to make presentation on his alleged involvement in the return and reinstatement of Maina.
Paulker explained that the committee was mandated by the Senate to carry out the investigation following a motion by Senator Isah Hamma Misau (Bauchi Central) under a matter of urgent public importance.
He said, “The senate had mandated chairmen and vice chairmen of four committees to look into the matter and that is why we are here.
“Prior to this time there have been information circulating in the media regarding this issue but we will not want to be guided by those information.
“That is why we don’t want our meeting to be in public domain until we come up with our findings.’’
He said that the resolution to look into the matter was not meant to “witch-hunting’ anybody.”
Paulker said that the Senate was only carrying out its constitutional responsibility of ensuring good governance in the country.
He said that the committee would be guided by the information gathered in the course of the investigation.
Paulker said, “We will call the press at the end of the investigation. For now we will go into a close-door session so that we will not be swapping between I said this I did not say this.
“Though Nigerian press is so matured, I am not saying they will misquote us.’’
He assured that the committee would work to unravel the circumstances surrounding Maina’s secret reappearance and reinstatement.
Apart from Senator Paulker, who is chairman Senate committee on Establishment, other members of the ad-hoc committee included, Senator David Umaru, Chairman, Senate Committee on Judiciary, Legal Matters and Human Rights, Senator Andy Uba, Chairman Senate Committee on Interior, Senator Chukwuka Utazi, Chairman, Senate Committee on Anti-Corruption and Senator Babajide Omoworare, Chairman Senate Committee on Legislative Compliance.
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