President Goodluck Jonathan has ordered the Head of Service to commence disciplinary action against Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Force, Alhaji Abdulrasheed Maina, saying specifically that "section 030402 of the Federal Government's Public Service Rules lists Absence from Duty without Leave as an act of Serious Misconduct punishable by dismissal".
Jonathan who had on Thursday stated through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati that he was not shielding Maina had cautioned, however, that laid down civil service rule and procedure should determine Maina's fate.
But Abati yesterday told State House Correspondents that the matching order given to the Head of the Federal Civil Service by the president became necessary "following his receipt from the Inspector-General of Police of a status report on efforts by the Nigeria Police to execute the warrant issued by the Senate for the arrest of the Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Force".
The presidential spokesman said, "President Goodluck Jonathan today directed the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation to immediately commence disciplinary action against Alhaji Maina for absconding from duty.
Section 030402 of the Federal Government's Public Service Rules lists Absence from Duty without Leave as an act of Serious Misconduct punishable by dismissal.
"In his directive to the Head of Service, Alhaji Isa Sali, President Jonathan noted that the Inspector-General's report clearly indicated that Alhaji Maina had absconded from his official duties.
President Jonathan directed the Head of Service to act expeditiously on the disciplinary proceedings against Alhaji Maina and report back to him on actions taken".
Disclosing the content of the IGP's report that informed the president's directive, Abati said, "The Inspector-General of Police, Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar stated in his report to President Jonathan that after receiving the Senate's warrant for the arrest of Alhjai Maina, he had constituted a team of detectives under the leadership of a Deputy Inspector-General of Police to find and arrest him in compliance with the Senate's directive.
"The Inspector-General said that the police has since mounted surveillance at Alhaji Maina's home and Office but has been unable to arrest him because he has gone into hiding and stayed away from both locations since the warrant was issued, leading to his publicly being declared wanted by the Police.
"Alhaji Abubakar assured the President that "intensive search" operations were still ongoing for the arrest of Alhaji Maina and that the Police will not relent until he is apprehended and produced before the Senate".
The Senate had on Wednesday handed down a two-day ultimatum to the president to sack Maina from the Federal Civil Service, saying Jonathan should choose between it and the pension task force chairman.