Over 150 management and senior workers of the National Assembly may be retired soon as the National Assembly Service Commission (NASC) is said to have resolved to suspend its amended condition of service.
Senate President, Ahmed Lawan.
The review of the condition of service in the twilight of the Eighth Assembly in 2019, which raised the retirement age from 60 to 65 and years of service from 35 to 40, has been shrouded in controversy and attracted protests from several quarters.
Among those fingered for sanction are: the Clerk to the National Assembly (CNA), Alhaji Mohammed Sani-Omolori; the Clerk of the Senate, Mr. Nelson Ayewoh and the Secretary to the NASC, Mr. Olusanya Ajakaiye.
It was learnt that Sani-Omolori would have retired in February 2020, having joined public service in 1985 at Ajaokuta Steel Company as a legal officer. He joined the National Assembly in February 1991 as a Principal Legal Officer on Grade Level 12, from the defunct National Electric Power Authority (NEPA).
Ayewoh had his first appointment in August 1985 and is due to proceed on terminal leave. He was born in January 1962, according to records obtained by our reporters.
In reverting to the old condition of service, it was gathered that “the commissioners at the commission met last Wednesday and found it disturbing that despite a bill passed by both the Senate and House (of Representatives) not being signed into law, the National Assembly management went ahead to implement it without recourse to presidential assent. Worst of all, there was no board in place to okay this action”.
A source, who spoke in confidence, said: “Apart from illegally implementing the new rule, the CNA allegedly unilaterally assumed the powers of the NASC by employing and promoting some officers loyal to him. He has no such powers.”
It added: “This issue of tenure elongation has never been part of the condition of service of the National Assembly. It was only smuggled in and we will never allow it to hold.”
In petitions to the NASC, the Next Level Due Process Group said: “The National Assembly cannot arrogate to itself both legislative and executive powers by amending a law and without (having) presidential assent to its implementation.
“We, therefore, call on the new NASC to immediately discontinue the implementation, investigate those responsible for this heinous act, the beneficiaries and send them for prosecution.”
One of the petitions, jointly signed by the Chairman and Secretary of the group, Alhaji Abdullahi Tanko Aliyu and Mr. Chiedu Agbanusi, also reads: “The National Assembly leadership, in conjunction with the commission, must put an end to this illegality. It is unheard of that a parliament will amend an Act and go ahead to implement it without presidential assent. This is absurd; it is criminal and appropriation of the powers of the Executive.
“We, therefore, call on the Chairman of the NASC, Ahmed Kadi Amshi and his commissioners to correct this anomaly without delay. On our part, we are ready to explore the legal action should the commission fail to do the right thing.
“It is most disheartening that the CNA, who is a lawyer, would perpetrate this illegality in the absence of a duly constituted board of the NASC. The Director of Information in NASS, Mr. Agada, also displayed ignorance of the highest order, defending this illegality.”
The NASC Information Officer, Mrs. Janet Mambula, confirmed the development but did not respond to text messages sent to her mobile phone for further clarification.