Head of Service, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, and Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, were involved in a shouting match at the Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting.
The Council Chamber had in attendance the Vice President, the Senate President, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Service Chiefs and Ministers, among others.
The meeting started after the swearing-in of new Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, and the launch of the 2018 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Emblem.
President Muhammadu Buhari arrived at about 10:40 am for the meeting.
As the dignitaries waited for the President to arrive, the HoS and Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, were engaged in an animated discussion, with the Vice President listening.
Although the reason for the seemingly gloomy mood of the Head of Service was not known, it might not be unconnected with the leak of a memo she had recently sent to President Buhari in respect of the controversial recall of sacked chairman of Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms, Abdulrasheed Maina.
However, sources at the meeting said the HoS, on arriving the chamber, greeted the Chief of Staff to the President who, reportedly said he would query her for saying she met with the President over Maina and that she must answer the query with photographic evidence of her meeting with the President.
“When the HoS entered the chamber, venue of the FEC meeting, she greeted the Chief of Staff to the President where he was seated.
“But he said he would query her and that she must reply the query with photographic evidence of her meeting with the President over the Maina issue that same yesterday.
“At this point, the HoS asked the Chief of Staff if he sees the President with a photographer to take pictures, so she could have photo evidence and write so that memos would be flying everywhere. In a fit of anger, the HoS wanted to know why the Chief of Staff was always picking on her, asking him what she did to him.
“She angrily proceeded to where the Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo, was seated, to complain to him about what the Chief of Staff was doing to her.”
Oyo-Ita, in the leaked memo,said that Buhari was aware of the reinstatement of the former chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms, Abdulrasheed Maina.
Oyo-Ita was quoted to have stated that she had warned the President against the controversial recall of the embattled former pension boss.
In the wake of the condemnation that trailed the recall and double promotion of Maina, President Buhari had ordered his immediate disengagement 24 hours after Minister of Interior, Lt Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau (retd), admitted that Maina, was posted to the Ministry of Interior by the Office of the Head of Service in acting capacity to fill a vacancy created by the retirement of the Director heading the Human Resources Department in the Ministry.
Maina was in 2013 recommended for dismissal by the Federal Civil Service Commission, based on recommendation by the Office of the Head of Service.
In 2012, Maina was accused of leading a massive pension fraud scheme amounting to more than N100 billion. He was drafted by the Goodluck Jonathan’s administration in 2010 to sanitize a corrupt pension system.
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