By Tayo Bello
President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday summoned his Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, and the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Winifred Oyo-Ita, over their clash at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Kyari and Oyo-Ita argued before Vice President Femi Osinbajo shortly before the Federal Executive Council meeting on Wednesday about who leaked a memo Oyo-Ita sent to Kyari warning him about the implication of reinstating fugitive and former chairman of the Pension Reforms Commission, Abdulrasheed Maina to the civil service.
It was gathered that at the meeting that Kyari accused Oyo-Ita of leaking the memo, which she wrote to the CoS on the reinstatement of Mr Abdulrasheed Maina into the Civil Service.
In the leaked memo, Oyo-Ita alleged that she had warned the President against asking Maina to return to the civil service, saying doing so could affect the anti-corruption war of the Federal Government.
Oyo-Ita, it was gathered, also accused Kyari of being the brains behind the leakage.
The altercation occurred in the presence of Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo; President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara; National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, John Odigie-Oyegun; service chiefs and ministers.
An unnamed Presidency source revealed to the PUNCH that the President was embarrassed when he was briefed about the altercation between Kyari and Oyo-Ita.
The source said, “The President therefore, asked the two officials to see him after the FEC meeting. It was a gory sight, seeing the two officials almost fighting at the Council Chambers.
“Efforts made by the VP to calm the two officials were rebuffed by the two officials. It was apparent that none of them had faith in each other.”
The memo, with reference number HSCSF/HCSF/LU/COR/FCSC/750/T, was dated October 23, 2017.
The memo, titled, ‘Re: Abdulrasheed Abdullahi Maina,’ was received in the office of the Chief of Staff to the President on October 23.
The President had directed the HoS to investigate the circumstances that surrounded the return of Maina to the civil service.
Maina is wanted for allegedly embezzling pensioners’ funds running into billions of naira and is currently under investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.