Head Of Service Oyo-Ita Dares Buhari and The Cabal
Winifred Oyo-Ita, the Head of Civil Service, has dared President Muhammadu Buhari and his cabal to do their worst, following the controversies that trailed her leaked memo to the President on the questionable reinstatement of Abdulrasheed Maina, a dismissed pension fraud suspect into the civil service.
Despite the presidency’s refusal to comment publicly on the matter, it is evident that Oyo-Ita is ready for the worst. A source close to her confided to our correspondent that “she actually doesn’t care what the outcome of this issue will be at the end of the day. Sometimes, it is better to die a hero than live as a coward.”
She was recently spotted on a video fuming with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Abba Kyari and Mohammed Babagana Monguno, National Security adviser to President Buhari. Her body language and gestures on the video suggests that she really care less on what the consequences of the leaked memo will be.
The allegations that President Buhari was briefed of the scheme to surreptitiously recall Maina, a fugitive from justice, were raised in the internal memo by Oyo-Ita —signaling an escalation in the scandal and its growing impact on the president’s avowed ‘war on corruption.’
“I sought an audience with His Excellency, Mr. President on Wednesday, October 11, 2017, after the FEC meeting where I briefed His Excellency verbally on the wide-ranging implications of the reinstatement of Mr. A. A. Maina, especially the damaging impact on the anti-corruption stance of this administration,” Mrs. Oyo-Ita’s memo reads in part.
Mrs. Oyo-Ita’s memo was probably her response to Buhari’s demand that the top civil servant put together a report detailing how Mr. Maina sneaked back into public service.
The President summoned the report when he demanded an expedited dismissal of Mr. Maina from service on October 23, an uncharacteristically swift response to public outrage that led many to assume that the scandal also caught the president by surprise.
Mr. Maina was dismissed from service in 2013 during the Goodluck Jonathan administration for absconding from office following allegations that he diverted billions in public funds for his own use when he headed the pension reform task force.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission subsequently moved to arrest and prosecute him, but Mr. Maina, who was fired as an assistant director, bolted from the law.
He was believed to have fled to Dubai, where he had remained until the Buhari administration facilitated his return under questionable circumstances this year.
Out of the 34-count charge which EFCC filed against a former Head of Civil Service, Steve Oronsaye, over pension fraud, Mr. Maina featured in 27. EFCC sources said he couldn’t be charged because he had been on the run.
“The consequences of the gross breach of public trust in the reinstatement of Mr. Maina could only be minimised if the president comes clean on the scandal,” said a political analyst and automobile expert, Gbola Oba.
Mr. Oba said Mr. Buhari and his aides are not helping themselves by keeping quiet and would “be mistaken if they think they could wait out this humongous scandal that others before it. It’s true that Nigerians have become tired of regular scandals in public service, but this one would likely be the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.”