Abuja — President Goodluck Jonathan has ordered the Head of Civil Service of the Federation to take immediate disciplinary action against the embattled Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Force team, Mr. Abdulrasheed Maina, for absconding from official duty without official leave.
A statement signed by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati Thursday said the president's directive followed the submission of the report by the Inspector General of Police on efforts being made to effect the arrest of Maina in the execution of the warrant issued by the senate.
It would be recalled that Abati had told State House correspondents on Thursday that it was only the Head of Service that could discipline Maina and not the president as demanded by the Senate.
The Senate had asked president Jonathan to sack Maina for repeatedly refusing to appear before it. The upper chamber also summoned the Inspector General of Police to appear before it for failing to apprehend Alhaji Maina in accordance with the warrant of arrest issued by the law makers.
The statement read: "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 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.
"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".