The National Assembly Service Commission (NASC) has concluded place to sack the Clerk to the National Assembly, Mohammed Ataba Sani-Omolori over alleged illegal ‘tenure extension’, it was learnt on Tuesday.
Senate President Ahmad Lawan and House of Representatives Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila may likely nominate candidates from their geo-political zones of North East and South West respectively for appointment as Clerk to the National Assembly and Deputy Clerk to the National Assembly.
It was further learnt that the Department of State Services (DSS) has summoned the Chairman of the Commission, Ahmed Kadi-Amshi (Yobe State) and the leadership of the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) – National Assembly and NASC chapters – to its office on Wednesday.
It was learnt that the invitation by the DSS may not be unconnected with a petition allegedly written by some members of PASAN said to be loyal to Sani-Omolori.
Besides, the current Permanent Secretary (Legal Matters) of the National Assembly, Bala Yabani (Yobe State) has been allegedly tipped as the next Clerk to the National Assembly.
Permanent Secretary, Estate and works/Procurement of the National Assembly, Architect Olatunji Ojo Amos (Osun State) is said to has also been penciled down for appointment as Deputy Clerk to the National Assembly.
While Yabani is being sponsored for the position by Lawan, Mr Amos (Osun State)
is said to be the candidate of the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila for the position of deputy.
According to a reliable source who spoke on condition of anonymity, the moves to sack the Clerk followed alleged illegal amendment of National Assembly’s condition of service towards the end of the 8th Session of the National Assembly.
The rules titled: “Retirement age and conditions of service” of the Staff of the National Assembly, was allegedly amended during the last session of the National Assembly without due process.
As a result of the amendment of the National Assembly’s Condition of Service, the retirement years for public servants in the National Assembly was said to have moved from 35 to 40 years while retirement age was upgraded from 60 to 65 years.
It was learnt that the ‘amended’ rule was being implemented, despite the fact that it wasn’t passed by both chambers of the 8th National Assembly as a Bill and signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.
It was also learnt that the recently inaugurated board of the National Assembly Service Commission (NASC), Chaired by Kadi-Amshi, upon resumption, set up a Committee to investigate the implementation of the amended Conditions of Service of the National Assembly which is now a subject of controversy.
It was learnt that the Committee has submitted its report and has reversed the controversial five-year tenure enlogation of the Clerk, Sani-Omolori and over 150 other senior directors of the National Assembly.
If the recommendations of the Committee are implemented, the Clerk who allegedly attained 35 years in service in February, maybe asked to proceed on compulsory retirement leave preparatory to his final disengagement from the Service of the National Assembly.
Meanwhile, the Chairmen of the National Assembly and NASC chapters of PASAN, Sunday Sabiyi and Ojemeri Oisamaye respectively, in a letter to the chairman of NASC, Ahmed Amshi, urged him to resolve the controversy by invoking the powers of the Commission.
The letter of the PASAN leaders reads in part: “We strongly implore the Commission to invoke its powers, in line with Sections 6(8), 7(1)(b) and 19 as well other relevant Sections of the NASC Act, 2014, to holistically review the conditions of service and streamline the irregularities found therein.”
They said they never supported a tenure extension for the Clerk and other senior staff of the National Assembly already due for retirement.
Section 6 (8) of the National Assembly Commission Act says, “In exercising its power to make appointments or exercise disciplinary control over persons, the Commission shall not be subjected to the direction or control of any authority or person.”