Damilola Oyedele in Abuja
The Senate Committee charged with investigating the circumstances surrounding the return and reinstatement of the fugitive former Chairman of the Presidential Pension Reforms Task Force Team, Mr. Abdulrasheed Maina into the Federal Civil Service, on wednesday grilled officials of the Federal Civil Service Commission over their roles in the scandal.
The meeting however held behind closed doors but had in attendance the acting chairman of the commission, Mr. Joseph Oluremi Akande.
The chairman of the Committee, Senator Emmanuel Paulker (Bayelsa PDP) in his remarks before he asked journalists to leave, also insisted that the Minister of Interior, Lt. General Abdulrahman Dambazau (rtd.) must physically appear before the committee.
Paulker said the committee would not take submissions from the Ministryâ€™s Permanent Secretary, Mr. Abubakar Magaji without the Minister being present.
Paulker disclosed that the committee had already received a formal letter from the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami informing it of his travel outside the country.
â€œHe said he would return next week and would appear then, which we have granted,â€ Paulker said.
In his opening remarks, Paulker said the committee would not be influenced by media reports into the scandal and would carry out the investigations without any bias.
Magaji, informed the committee that his principal was due to attend the investigative meeting which was initially scheduled for Tuesday.
The hearing was postponed to Wednesday due to the presentation of the 2018 Appropriation bill to a joint session of the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Magaji added that Dambazau was billed to present a memo at the Federal Executive Council meeting on Wednesday, hence his absence from the committee.