March 26, 2023

Head of Service of the Federation Winifred Oyo-Ita was angry yesterday.

It was not immediately clear why Mrs Oyo-Ita was in a foul mood at the Council Chambers, but the popular thinking was that it was  over her leaked memo to President Muhammadu Buhari.

This happened before the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting began at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. Her angry reaction was witnessed by all those who were in the Council Chambers for the swearing-in of the new Secretary to the Government or the Federation, Boss Mustapha, and the launch of the 2018 Armed Forces emblem. Many Council members were also in the hall.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Chief of Staff to the President Abba Kyari were seen discussing with Mrs Oyo-Ita, shortly before the event, which started at 10:55am.

Mrs. Oyo-Ita, who has never lost her cool in public, was seen angrily gesticulating while trying to make her point in what was obviously a heated argument with Kyari.

The Head of Service went back to her seat and then rose and headed straight to Osinbajo, who also engaged her in a tête-a-tete over the issue.

National Security Adviser (NSA) Babagana Monguno joined the conversation after which the Secretary to the Government of the Federation was seen calming  Mrs. Oyo-Ita.

Deputy Chief of Staff Ade Ipaye asked her to return to her seat when it was obvious that all eyes were on them.

The drama, which lasted about 10 minutes, was witnessed by Senate President Bukola Saraki, House of Representatives Speaker Yakubu Dogara, Chief justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Onnoghen, Adamawa State Governor Jibrila Bindu, All Progressives Congress  (APC) National Chairman John Odigie-Oyegun, Chief of Defence Staff, Service Chiefs, Inspector General of Police and heads of paramilitary service among others.

A national daily had quoted Mrs. Oyo-Ita, in the leaked memo, as saying she warned the President against the recall of Abdullahi Abdulrasheed Maina. The President sacked Maina last week.

Maina was in 2013 recommended for dismissal by the Federal Civil Service Commission following a recommendation by the Office of the Head of Service.

In 2012, he was accused of leading a massive pension fraud scheme amounting to more than N100 billion.

He was drafted by the Dr. Goodluck Jonathan administration in 2010 to sanitise the pension system.

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