Abuja — President Goodluck Jonathan has directed the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation to commence disciplinary action against the Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Force, for absconding from duty.
The Senate on Wednesday gave President Jonathan a two-day ultimatum within which to sack Alhaji Abdulrasheed Maina from service.
Senate President David Mark announced the ultimatum after a debate on a motion entitled, "Dismissal of Mr. Abdulrasheed Maina for refusal to appear before the Senate."
The motion for Maina's dismissal was sponsored by the Leader of the Senate, Sen. Victor Ndoma-Egba (SAN), and 107 senators.
The Senate has 109 members.
However, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati, said while briefing the State House correspondents on Friday that President Jonathan had directed immediate disciplinary action against Maina.
Abati stated that the President's directive followed a report from the Inspector-General of Police on efforts by the Nigeria Police to execute the warrant issued by the Senate for the arrest of Maina.
"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, Alhaji Abdulrasheed Maina, 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.
"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 Alhaji 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.
According to Abati, the Inspector-General Police reported that the police has since mounted surveillance at 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 being declared wanted by the Police.
Abati said the Inspector-General had assured the President that "intensive search" operations were still ongoing for the arrest of Maina and that "the Police will not relent until he is apprehended and produced before the Senate.
"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."