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Sani-Omolori eased out, as NASC appoints acting clerk for NASS

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Sani-Omolori eased out, as NASC appoints acting clerk for NASS

The controversies surrounding the tenure of the outgoing clerk of the National Assembly Mohammed Sani-Omolori may have come to an end as the National Assembly Service Commission (NASC) has announced the appointment of an acting clerk of the National Assembly, Olatunde Ojo.

The new acting clerk, is an architect who hails from Ilobu, 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.
This was contained in a statement that issued on Friday and signed by its chairman, Ahmed Amshi.
He indicated that the decision of the commission was taken at an emergency meeting held on Friday, July 17.

The statement reads, “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.”

It noted that the development is pursuant to its mandate as provided in the National Assembly Service Act 2014 (as amended), Section 6 (b), which it quoted as follows; “Appoint persons to hold or act in the offices of; clerk to the National Assembly…”

The statement indicated introduced Mohammed Bala as 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 National Assembly Service Commission.
It would be recalled that the commission and the assembly management had for some time been at loggerheads over the tenure of Sani-Omolori and about 160 other senior civil servants working at the national assembly.

Amshi had on Wednesday directed that those who had attained the age of 60 or 35 years in service should proceed on compulsory retirement.
Sani-Omolori has spent 35 years in service but seeks to continue in office, relying on a controversial National Assembly Revised Condition of Service which reportedly took effect in 2019.

Based on the controversially amended conditions, the clerk and about 160 officers, who were billed to retired from office, were expected to remain in office for about five more years, after the retirement age was raised from 60 to 65 years and years of service from 35 to 40.

But in a bid to intervene, Mr Amshi-led commission ignored the amendment by the two chambers of the National Assembly in 2018 and asked all those affected to proceed on compulsory retirement.

“Pursuant to its mandate as provided in the National Assembly Service Act 2014 (as amended), the National Assembly Service Commission at its 497th meeting held on Wednesday 15th July 2020 has approved the retirement age of the staff of the National Assembly Service as 35 years of service or 60 years of age whichever comes first.

“To this effect the commission has approved the immediate retirement of staff of the National Assembly Service who have already attained the retirement age of 35 years of service or 60 years of age.

“Retirement letters would be issued to the affected staff accordingly,” he said.

In a swift reaction to the development, Mr Sani-Omolori, on Wednesday evening, insisted that the retirement age for the National Assembly remains 40 years of service or 65 years of age.

He said the resolution of the National Assembly which increased the age and years of service has not been amended.

He also said the commission has no powers to intervene in the controversy.
His statement reads,
“The attention of the National Assembly Management has been drawn to a press release dated 15th July, 2020 signed by the Chairman of the National Assembly Service Commission, informing the general public that the commission has approved the retirement age of staff of the National Assembly as 35 years of service or 60 years of age whichever comes first.

“The Management of the National Assembly wishes to inform all staff and the general public that the extant regulation as contained in our Revised Conditions of Service duly passed by both Chambers of the 8th National Assembly puts the retirement age of staff at 40 years of service and 65 years of age whichever comes first.

“The Resolution of the 8th National Assembly on the Conditions of Service of Staff has not been rescinded nor abdicated by the National Assembly, who under the authentic National Assembly Service Act 2014 as passed is empowered to review any proposed amendment to the Conditions of Service by the Commission.”

“Therefore, the National Assembly Service Commission does NOT have the powers to set aside the Revised Conditions of Service as passed by the 8th National Assembly.”

He said the management “had maintained a studied silence in deference to the leadership of the 9th National Assembly which is looking into the position being canvassed by the commission but finds it intriguing that the National Assembly Service Commission has unilaterally gone ahead to take a decision.”

He urged all staff to disregard the press release by the commission and go about their lawful duties.

The commission immediately issued a query to the embattled clerk in its reaction to the press statement condemning the commission’s action, over his reluctance to proceed on retirement

The query dated July 16, was signed by Mr Amshi.

The commission had on Wednesday directed that those who had attained the age of 60 or 35 years in service should proceed on compulsory retirement.

In the query, Mr Amshi faulted the clerk’s statement describing it as gross insubordination. Mr Sani-Omolori was also given 24 hours to respond to the query.

“As you are very much aware, the Clerk to the National Assembly is an employee of the National Assembly Service Commission, 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 by the Commission as a gross insubordination to a constituted authority.

“You are, by this letter requested to explain to the Commission within twenty four (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,” part of the statement read.

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Legislature

Senate okays establishment of Chartered Institute of Forensic Investigative Professionals of Nigeria

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Senate okays establishment of Chartered Institute of Forensic Investigative Professionals of Nigeria

The Senate on Tuesday approved the establishment of the Chartered Institute of Forensic Investigative Professionals of Nigeria.
This was coming after the consideration and approval of the report of the Senate Committee on Establishment and Public Service by the senators at plenary.
Presenting the report, Chairman of the Committee, Senator Ibrahim Shekarau said that the Senate at its sitting on Tuesday Feb.16, considered for second reading the bill.
The Bill is for an Act to establish the Chartered Institute of Forensic Investigative Professionals of Nigeria (Establishment) Bill 2021. 
According to Shekarau, the objectives of the bill include for effective regulation, registration of members to acquire skills and knowledge in order to qualify to practice as a forensic and investigative professionals and for related practice.
“You will recall that the bill was exhaustively discussed in both chambers of the National Assembly that was not assented by the President due to late passage before the expiration of the 8th National Assembly.”
In his contribution, Sen. Adeola Olamilekan (APC-Lagos) said “I want to raise one important issue and I want a clarification from the chairman. 
“Because in this report, they referred to the 8th Senate that exhaustively we had discussed this bill.
“I want to ask, during the 8th Senate there were fundamental observations that were raised on this bill. And I strongly believe that that was what led to the President refusing to assent his signature on the bill.”
In his remarks, President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan said that the new institute should provide the kind of services that would ensure that corruption in public and private sectors were identified and nipped in the bud.

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Senate prohibits pedophiles, rapists from working with minors

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Senate prohibits pedophiles, rapists from working with minors

The Senate on has  approved an amendment to the Child Right Act of 2003, prohibiting persons convicted of sexual offence from working with minors. This followed the presentation of the report by the Chairperson, Senate Committee on Women Affairs, Sen. Betty Apiafi during Tuesday’s plenary.
The lawmaker noted that the amendment would further protect the Nigerian child against any form of sexual violence and abuse in the hands of caregivers and others.
The Senate on also passed the Older Persons (Rights and Privileges) Bill 2020 aimed at addressing the social and economic challenges triggered by aging and the need for government to formulate policies that would incorporate the elderly and cater for their well-being.
The bill also provided for a fine of N2 million or N200, 000 from organisations or individuals who discriminated against older persons in the country.

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RAM panelists insist, Nigeria will collapse without restructuring

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RAM panelists insist, Nigeria will collapse without restructuring 

***only the living can vote – Afenifere warns**


Nigeria is heading for the rocks in view of the various security threats and refusal of the authorities to heed to the clamour for restructuring by majority of the population, panelists at the Restructure Actualization Movement (RAM) have said

They indicated that the only escape route for the country would be a national conversation by Nigerians on how to forge ahead.
He added that such conversation would be at the be called by ordinary Nigerians and not by political elite who would do so with  their agenda that would undermine the interest of equity being promoted by ordinary Nigerians.

This consensus view was expressed by Dr. Akin Fapounda, Dr. Obiageli Ezekweseli, Senator Usman Bugaje and Chief Edwin Clark who was represented by Oni Winge.

All the speakers maintained that, there is already a consensus among Nigerians for restructuring saying that what is left is how the people would evolve the conversation to convoke their sovereignty, discuss national cohesion and unity under agreed terms.

Representative of the Southwest at the RAM conversation, Dr. Akin Fapohunda said there was no need for any future election without restructuring, to provide for national consensus on the way to continue to exist as one country in peace and unity.
He said the term ‘Afenifere’ means living in love and unity, thus the Southwest position on the way forward for first to note that Nigeria a failed state with 36 states running as silos of expenditure that are not viable.

According to him, the Yoruba nation is desirous of living other with all other tribes and ethnic representation in Nigeria, however,  the critical question of ‘how’ to live together is one that must be deliberated and agreed upon.

He said it is because the extant constitution is not working and should be replaced.

According to him, the profligacy and inequalities in the system must be addressed for an all inclusive governance structure that provides equal opportunities to all Nigerians.

He pointed out that part of the structural deficiency in the system is lumping of over 1000 state assembly lawmakers, 109 senators, 360 members of House of Representatives 42 ministers and administrative staff of the federal government on level 16 and 17 in each of the 36 states of the federation leads the national coffers to unnecessarily bleeding economically.

He pointed out that these silos of expenditure includes the 36 states governors and their paraphanelia of office drains the public purse without any tangible public expenditure that benefits the people.

He proposed that Nigeria Lawmakers should be made to draw their earnings for their service from their respective region and communities based on their earnings.

He maintained that the Yoruba nation was not disposed to 2023 elections as “regardless of the subtle quest, by some elements, to network for political trophies in anticipation of 2023, the overwhelming desire of Yoruba people is to refrain from an further participation in the process of elections unless and until a new constitutional order in is negotiated and enacted.

“Recent events of insecurity across our lands affirms to correctness of this posture, as only the living can exercise voting rights not the dead” he warned.

In her submission on the conversation, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili restated that Nigeria suffers constitutional failure which is the foundation of the country’s trajectory and this failure manifests in the fact that Nigeria was  bequeathed British and Military Constitutions which did not take into cognisance the interest of the people, all of whom have failed.

Ezekwesili said, added to this, was the privatization of the public space and elite class thus undermining the rights of Nigerians to engage.

She said the conversation must be made and its outcome from the views of Nigerians would form the basis of going forward as an indivisible nation.

Former Cabinet minister and leader of the Niger Delta region, Chief Edwin Clerk who was represented by Oni Winge told the participant that Nigeria will not exist further without restructuring.

He said the South South region which is the bread winner of the country wants true Federalism and be able able to control its resources.
He pointed out that while the nation has focused on living on the black gold from the Niger Delta region, the Gold of Zamfara state has been the exclusive resource of the state with the State having full control.
On his part as a panelist at the RAM town hall meeting in Abuja, Senator Usman Bugaje said Nigeria is in a very dangerous trajectory and would required informed discussions on the conversation.

Bugaje who identified three major issues as the bane of advancing the nation to include: power sharing, wealth sharing and identity of a Nigerian said effective management of these factors would birth a United Nigeria.

According to him, the inability of the political class to equitably distribute political power, wealth and ensure the identity of a Nigerian without ethinic or religious biases was a problem to be solved.

He said any part of the country is free to go it’s own way however, it should be done constitutionally stressing that sovereignty belongs to the people.

He said attempts to reduce allotment of presidential slots to ethnic basis like Hausa or Igbo Presidency was a stupid idea.

Proposing a 44 state federating unit with 12 regions, former Minister of information, Prof. Jerry Gana said restructuring Nigeria is an inevitable change whose time has come and Nigeria must actualize to negotiate a peaceful co-existence among all parties.

He said the theory of the majority tribes rotating the Presidency among themselves remains an issue to be discussed so that all minority ethnic nationalities would see a possibility of emerging President of the Country too

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