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Clerk of the National Assembly Stays Put After Reaching Retirement Age

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Clerk of the National Assembly

Clerk of the National Assembly Stays Put After Reaching Retirement Age

 

 

  • Clerk of the National Assembly has stayed put in his position despite the fact that he has reached retirement age in service
  • The clerk who officially ought to have retired from service in February this year, 2020

 

The Clerk of the National Assembly Mohammed Sani-Omolori has stayed put in his position despite the fact that he has reached retirement age in service. The clerk who officially ought to have retired from service in February this year, 2020 is still carrying on with his duties despite protests in the National Assembly over the misnomer.

According to African Leadership Score Card in a recent report the man has refused to vacate his seat, insisting he would serve for an additional five (5) years. In addition, Omolori is said to be fanning members of discord, thereby igniting crisis and tension at the National Assembly.

Omolori joined the Nigeria civil service on February 6, 1985 and was therefore due for retirement on 6th February 2020, having served for 35 years, which is one of the two conditions spelt out in the civil service rule for retirement. The second condition is that an officer must have attained the age of 60.

Alongside Omolori are about 160 others, mainly directors who are due for retirement within the next one-year to allow their subordinates to move up and inject new ideas in the system. They are also insisting that they would not leave, if Omolori is allowed to stay back for the next five years.

But Omolori said he would not vacate office and allow a successor takeover. According to him, a so_called-“Revised Conditions of Service for legislative workers,” empowers him to stay for additional five years, in defiance of all known norms in Nigeria’s civil service.

According to reliable sources in the National Assembly, the “Revised Conditions of Service for legislative workers,” was masterminded by Omolori to tamper with the time of retirement for the workers as contained in Nigeria’s civil service rule.

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The reversed condition for legislative workers adjusted years of service from 35 to 40 and that of age from 60 to 65.
What it means is that Sani-Omolori and nearly 100 others want to stay back in service for another five years.

The demand for the revised condition of service for legislative workers was made during the tenure of Senator Bukola Saraki and Representative Yakubu Dogara as Senate President and House of Representatives Speaker, respectively. Sani Omolori, who was said to be very close to, and totally loyal to Saraki, was said to have manipulated Saraki to facilitate the passing of the reversed condition of service and left its implementation for the in-coming 9th senate.

He was said to have disturbed Saraki to take up the matter so much that a few weeks to the end of their tenure, Saraki facilitated its passage.

Sources said Saraki took up the matter and got the bill passed as reward for the role Omolori played in Saraki’s emergence as Senate President in 2015 when he connived with Saraki, conducted senate plenary while APC leaders were working to stop Saraki from contesting the senate president position at plenary.

Although the bill was passed and made to be effective from May 2019, it was however passed at a time that the National Assembly Service Commission (NASC), which is the policy-making organ of the federal legislature, had not been constituted.

President Muhammadu Buhari however constituted the National Assembly Service Commission February this year and appointed Ahmed Kadi-Amshi as the Chairman.

When they assumed office, members of the Commission reviewed the revised condition of service and agreed it was self-serving and not in the interest of the nation or good governance of the Nationa Assembly. The NASC therefore set it aside.

The position of the Commission therefore created a division among National Assembly workers in the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN).

While a faction supported the decision of the Commission, the other faction declared support for the National Assembly Management led by Omolori, insisting that the reversed condition be implemented.

The situation came to a lull following the outbreak of covid-19 which brought the National Assembly to a partial close. But with resumption of legislative activities, the matter came to the fore once against leading to the aggravated debate.

Those in support of the decision of the NASC, said there was no way such a bill can even be contemplated when it has not been assented to by the president, the way other sector workers that had their terms extended, like judges and academic staff of universities. They therefore insisted it cannot even be called a law.

However, those standing with Omolori and his National Assembly Management were of the view that the new rule is an internal process of the legislature which does not require the president’s assent.

It was in the light of the arguments for and against the new rules that the Senate, the House of Representatives and the NASC agreed to set up a three-member committee to look at the issues and recommend a position on the revised condition of service.

The committee members are former Head of Service of the Federation, Steve Oronsaye, and two former clerks of the National Assembly, Adamu Fika and Nasir Arab. They were to submit their report this July.

In the course of their sitting, the committee had invited many relevant stakeholders that made their submissions including the Head of Civil Service of the Federation (HOCSF) Dr. Mrs. Folasade Yemi-Esan who appeared and made her submission last week.

In her presentation, the HOCSF told the leadership of the National Assembly to reverse the elongation of service and the retirement age of workers in the federal parliament to what it was and faulted the amendment made by the 8th National Assembly to the Conditions of Service of the National Assembly.

She stated in the presentation that- “The 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) classifies the clerk and other staff of the National Assembly as public servants whose conditions of service are guided by the public service rules which derives its existence from Section 169 made pursuant to Section 160(1) of the Constitution.

“In specific terms, Section 318(1) of the Constitution states that ‘public service of the Federation means the service of any capacity in respect of the Government of the Federation and includes as (a) clerk or other staff of the National Assembly or of each house of the National Assembly.’

According to her the public service rules “prescribes attainment of 60 years of age or 35 years of service for an officer to retire, whichever comes earlier,” adding that the two chambers of the 8th Assembly were wrong in revising the conditions of service.

In reaction, a faction of the workers said to be loyal to Omolori under the auspices of the Concerned Staff of National and State Houses of Assembly (CSNSHA), wrote a letter to President Muhammdu Buhari and copied both the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representativesa the HOCSF, saying she took a- “position that made it seem as if she has authority over legislative proceeding, questioning why she wanted to become an arbiter in the resolution
passed by both chambers of the National Assembly.”

In the letter which was signed by comrade Salisu Funtua, National Secretary, Comrade Akindele Adesanya and National Publicity Secretary, Comrade Aguawike Ebele, the faction said, “The memo of the Head of
Service can only be considered as an advisory opinion to the leadership of the National Assembly without any force of Law, adding that it has no binding effect because it is not a policy statement, guidelines or instrument of whatever value.“

However, a top officer in the office of the Clerk of the National Assembly who did want his name mentioned said the issue of Sani Omolori is of no significance any longer as the man knows he is fighting a lost war.

The source said nearly every worker at the National Assembly wants Omolori out because of his alleged greed for power. He said Omolori was responsible for manipulating Saraki and co to rush the bill few weeks before they left office and that the Clerk of the National Assembly did not bother for the bill to be sent to President Buhari
for assent before rushing to implement it because his target was to stay in office for another five years.

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Naija News

FG to Commence Distribution of Free Metres

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free metres

The National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP) will on Friday, October 30, 2020 commence distribution of free electricity meters to Nigerians with simultaneous launch events of the scheme in Kano, Kaduna, Eko and Ikeja DISCO franchise area.

According to media reports locations to receive meters include Bawo Road and environs in Kano metropolis (KEDCO), Governor Road/Tudun Wada in Kaduna (Kaduna Electric), Oshodi Business Unit in Ikeja (Ikeja Electric), and Yaba and Surulere (Eko DISCO).

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Key stakeholders to monitor the launch of the distribution include Kaduna, Kano and Lagos government representatives, the Senate Committee and House Chair on Power as well as representatives of Organised Labour and Civil Society Organisations.

The NMMP is to roll out 6 million free meters for all connections points on grid without meters over the next 18 to 24 months, estimating to impact 30 million consumers nationwide.

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Federal Government Re-affirms Support for Okonjo-Iweala as Director General WTO

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WTO

 

The Federal Government on Thursday said it would stand by former Minister, Dr. Ngozi -Okonjo- Iweala until she emerged Director General, World Trade Organisation (WTO).

A statement issued by spokesperson, Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ferdinand Nwonye said the third and final round of the selection process of the Director-General of the World Trade Organization was concluded on Tuesday, 27th October 2020, and that the result was formally announced on Wednesday, 28th October 2020.

The candidate from Nigeria, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has secured the support of the majority of the member countries but is yet to be declared and returned the winner.

“This is because apart from winning the election, all the 164 Member States of WTO were expected to adopt the winner by consensus, in accordance with the rule of procedure of the WTO,” it said.

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The government said it was important to highlight that Dr Okonjo-Iweala had secured cross-regional backing with only the United States opposing the consensus.

“The ministry stated that a meeting of the General Council of the WTO has been scheduled for 9th November, 2020 for the final decision on the election process.

“Nigeria will continue to engage relevant stakeholders to ensure that the lofty aspiration of her candidate to lead the World Trade Organisation is realized,” it said.

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Plateau begins trial of 300 suspected looters

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Looters

The Plateau State Government on Wednesday begun the prosecution of over 300 suspected looters and arsonists in the state.
They were accused of looting, criminal trespass and inciting public disturbance, among other charges.
The suspects, who had been in military and police detention after they were arrested in different parts of Jos and the Bukuru metropolis between Saturday and Sunday, were moved to the Bassa Local Government Area on Wednesday for arraignment.

The defendants were arraigned one after the other at Jebbu Bassa Area Court before several judges including Justices N S Dashe, Adar Roseline Baraje, and L B Longs as well as Lawal Sulaiman, among others.

In all the cases brought before the judges, the prosecutors from the state Ministry of Justice told the court that the accused persons committed the offences against the state and should be prosecuted according to the law.
The defence counsels, however, pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy for the accused persons, particularly as they were first offenders.
The defence counsels also pleaded for short sentencing with an option of fine after their clients pleaded guilty to the offences.

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