The National Assembly Service Commission (NASC) has announced the appointment of an acting clerk of the National Assembly, signaling the end to the controversies surrounding the tenure of the outgoing clerk, Mohammed Sani-Omolori.
The new acting clerk, Olatunde Ojo, 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.
In a statement issued on Friday and signed by its chairman, Ahmed Amshi, the commission said the decision was taken at an emergency meeting held on Friday, July 17.
The statement reads in part; “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…”
According to the statement, Mohammed Bala is 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.
Controversy over tenure
The commission and the assembly management had for some time locked horns over the tenure of the Mr Sani-Omolori and about 160 other senior civil servants working at the national assembly.
Mr Amshi had on Wednesday directed that those who had attained the age of 60 or 35 years in service should proceed on compulsory retirement.
Mr 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 no fewer than 160 officers, who were to have 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.