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Crisis brews in NASS as management insists on tenure elongation for clerk, others

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Sunday Aborisade

A fresh crisis is imminent at the nation’s apex legislative institution over the insistence of its management to implement a document which approved extension of tenure for the clerk, Mr. Mohammed Sani-Omolori and other directors.

The immediate-past board of the National Assembly Service Commission had carried out a review of the condition of service of the parliamentary bureaucracy and approved tenure elongation for Sani-Omolori and other senior management staff.

Some official documents sighted by our correspondent on Saturday, indicated that the condition of service of National Assembly staff was amended shortly before the end of the 8th National Assembly.

It was titled, ‘Retirement age and conditions of service’ and was allegedly adopted and approved by the immediate past leadership.

But the management of the federal parliament through the Director of Information, Rawlings Agada, has said the arrangement was in order and would be implemented accordingly.

Agada said contrary to argument of some people, the amendment of the service rule was not a Bill and does not need a presidential assent to be effective.

He said, “The rules applicable to civil servants don’t apply to National Assembly staff.

“The staff are regarded as public servants. The parliament is an independent arm of government.”

The controversial document increased the retirement age for civil servants in the National Assembly from 35 to 40 years.

It also extended the retirement age from 60 to 65 years.

Some aggrieved senior management staff of the nation’s parliament are currently grumbling that the ‘amended’ rule was being implemented without the assent of President Muhammadu Buhari, as required by law.

The implication of the new rule is that Sani-Omolori and others would remain in office for another four to five years, despite attaining the legal age for retirement.

Findings by our correspondent revealed that Sani-Omolori was born in June 1961 and joined the civil service in February 1985.

Going by the new rule, he is expected to stay for another five years, despite attaining the compulsory 35 years in service.

Further findings also showed that the clerk was the Legal Officer of the Ajaokuta Steel Company in 1985, before he transferred his services to the National Electric Power Authority in 1989.

He also transferred his services to the National Assembly in February, 1991 as a Principal Legal Officer on Level 12.

His antagonists argue that he ought to have proceeded on retirement leave last year but remained in office.

They said those who joined the civil service in February 1985 had already retired.

Meanwhile, the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, were said to have instructed the chairman of the National Assembly Service Commission, Ahmed Kadi Amshi, to act on the allegation that amended Service Rule was forged.

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