The National Assembly Service Commission has announced the appointment of an acting clerk of the National Assembly, signaling the end to the controversies surrounding the tenure of the outgoing clerk, Mr. Mohammed Sani-Omolori.
The new acting clerk, Olatunde Ojo, is an architect who hails from Ilobu, the headquarters of Irepodun Local Government Area of Osun State.
The commission also announced other positions including the deputy clerk to the national assembly, clerk of the senate, clerk of the house of representatives, deputy clerk of the senate, deputy clerk of the house of representatives, secretaries to directorates, among others.
In a statement issued on Friday and signed by its chairman, Ahmed Amshi, the commission said the decision was taken at an emergency meeting held on Friday, July 17.
The statement reads in part; “The National Assembly Service Commission at an emergency meeting held today, Friday, July 17, 2020, has approved the appointments of some senior management staff for the service.”
According to the statement, Mohammed Bala is the new acting deputy clerk to the national assembly while El-Laden Dauda is the acting clerk to the senate.
The commission said Patrick Giwa is to remain clerk, house of representatives “pending his retirement in November, 2020,” while Yusuf Dambata is the new acting secretary to the NASC.
It would be recalled that the position of the clerk of the National Assembly is currently embroiled in controversy with the insistence of Sani Omolori to stay on citing a certain amendment of the National Assembly that was reportedly not signed into law by any Nigerian President.
The NASC had in a statement on July 15 approved the immediate retirement of Sani Omolori and 149 others including the commission’s Secretary, Olusanya Ajakaiye.
The embattled immediate past Clerk issued a counter statement citing an amendment of the National Assembly which increase the retirement age to 40 years in service or attaining 65 years of age.
In a swift response, the NASC queried him and gave him 24 hours to respond to the query just as he was reminded that he remains an employee of the Commission.
In the query referenced NASC/CHO/I/2 and dated July 16 from the Commission, Sani-Omolori was given 24 hours to state reasons why he should not be punished for issuing out a press statement on July 15 which stated that the retirement age for the staff of National Assembly is 40 years in service or 65 years of age whichever comes first.
The query signed by Ahmed Kaadi Amshi, the Executive Chairman, NASC and received July 16 by the office of Sani Omolori stated that” The attention of the National Assembly Service Commission was drawn to a press release titled “Retirement Age for the staff of the National Assembly is 40 years of service or 65 years of age whichever comes first dated July 15th and signed by MA Sani-Omolori, Clerk to the National Assembly”.
Amshi, citing section 6(1) b of the commission act of 2014 explained that Sani-Omolori is an employee of the commission and issuing such statement is clearly outside his capacity and as such, deserves sanction except he proves otherwise
“As you are very much aware, the Clerk of the National Assembly is an employee of the National Assembly Service Commission (NASC) vide section 6(1)b of the National Assembly Service Act (2014) as amended. The Clerk to the National Assembly has no authority whatsoever to dictate anything to the commission. Your press release is considered as gross insubordination to constituted authority”
You are by this letter asked to explain to the commission within 24 hours as to why disciplinary action will not be taken against you as per the provision of section 6 (2) b of the National Assembly Service Act 2014 as amended for this gross insubordination.
The statement issued Wednesday by the commission stated that those who have attained the age of 60 or 35 years in service are affected by the directive in the letter issued by Amshi, the executive chairman.
The tenure of the clerk has been a matter of controversy because of the implementation of the National Assembly Revised Condition of Service which took effect in 2019.
Based on the controversially amended conditions, the clerk and no fewer than 160 officers, who were to have retired from office, were expected to remain in office for about five more years after raising the retirement age from 60 to 65 years and years of service from 35 to 40.
Sources at the national assembly confided in InsideBusiness that the amendment relied on by Sani-Omolori to cling to power was alleged to be a compensation for his alleged role in the emergence of the leadership of the eight national assembly.
Up till date, no president has signed the amendment which was alleged to have been hurriedly passed at twilight of the tenure of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
BADEJO ADEMUYIWA has 23 years experience as a Finance Writer, specialising in Insurance and Investigative Reporting.