There was mild drama, on Thursday, during the public hearing on the disappearance, return and reinstatement of former chairman of the Presidential Pension Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina.
That was when Head of Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, took serious exception to the manner at which her junior colleague and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Interior, Abubakar Magaji, addressed her during his submission.
In a televised live hearing monitored, in Lagos, it was observed that Magaji had referred to Oyo-Ita at a point as ‘that person’ in one of his submissions before the panel.
While responding to Magaji, the Head of Service drew the panel’s attention to the derogatory language used against her person and office by Magaji to have referred to the Head of Service of the Federation as ‘that person.’
This, Oyo-Ita said, was unbecoming of a senior civil servant in the position of a Permanent Secretary.
Responding to Oyo-Ita almost immediately, the Permanent Secretary withdrew his description of the Head of Service as ‘that person’, apologised to her for the slip, and said that he would, under no circumstance, disparage the person or the office of the Head of Service of the Federation.
This response and withdrawal of the reference drew the approval of the audience in a loud applause.
The hearing, however, was not a smooth sail for the Attorney General of the Federation and Justice Minister, Abubakar Malami (SAN) who received so much salvo from the panelists over his activities and correspondences in the Maina saga which they frowned at as unbecoming, especially some letters from his office to the Federal Civil Service Commission that were not signed, which he also denied authoring,