The National Assembly Service Commission, on Tuesday rejected the directive of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, asking it to reverse the appointment of Mr. Mohammed Sani – Omolori, as the new Acting Clerk of the National Assembly.
The commission had last week Wednesday, appointed Sani – Omolori, the Clerk of the House of Representatives, as the new Acting Clerk of the National Assembly to replace the outgoing Clerk, Salisu Maikasuwa, who will proceed on a terminal leave on May 14.
But Saraki said Maikasuwa was expected to be succeeded by the Deputy Clerk of the National Assembly Mr. Benedict Efeturi, in acting capacity until August when he is expected to proceed on his own terminal leave.
He therefore directed the commission to withdraw the letter of appointment already issued to Sani – Omolori, and write a fresh one for Efeturi immediately.
However, the Executive Chairman of NASSC, Mr. Adamu Fika, in a letter addressed to Saraki, said it was not possible because it would be improper to do so being that Sani – Omolori was senior to Efeturi, who is also not suppose to be appointed in acting capacity since he would retire soon.
Fika said, ” I wish to refer to your letter on the above subject matter issued on your behalf by your Chief of Staff, Senator Isa Galaudu.
“The letter was instructing the Executive Chairman, National Assembly Service Commission to withdraw the letter appointing Mr. Mohammed A. Sani—Omolori as the Acting Clerk of the National Assembly for the period that the incumbent Clerk to the National Assembly will be on Pre-retirement leave from the 14‘h May to 14th August 2016.
“The above decision was taken at the Commission’s 440th meeting held on the 20th day of April 2016. The Commission took into account the fact that Mr. Benedict Efeturi will himself proceed on his Pre-retirement leave on 20th August 2016, twelve days before the incumbent Clerk will be due to hand over to his successor.
“This means that Mr. Efeturi is time barred for the Acting Appointment. Hence the choice of Mr. Sani-Omolori to act and ensure continuity in that very important Public Service office where he will serve for the next five years”
Fika said he did not even use his voting right in arriving at the commission’s decision, because eleven commissioners were in support of the decision.
He said, “It should be noted that in the Nigeria Public Service, Seniority is determined at the time of consideration for promotion and career progression chart leading to it.
“Seniority has never and is never decided by the date of appointment to the service nor date of retirement from service or indeed the number of years spent in the service.
“From the above analysis, denying Mr. Mohammed A. Sani—Omolori appointment as Deputy Clerk to the National Assembly in 2014 was improper being that he was senior to Mr. Benedict Efeturi.
“With the above explanations, the issue of misleading and misinforming your good self and the Honourable Speaker of the House of Representatives does not arise as the Commission properly evaluated the two officers and took into account their service records as a determining factor for the appointment of Acting Clerk to the National Assembly.
“In the light of all the foregoing, Your Excellency will agree that reversing the decision of the Commission appointing Mr. Mohammed A. Sani—Omolori as the Acting Clerk to the National Assembly cannot be tenable in the circumstance.”