Deji Elumoye in Abuja
The Federal Civil Service Commission (FCSC) has faulted the recent sack of senior management staff of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
The commission stated thursday that the random selection method used by the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of NDDC to sack its top management staff is strange to the commission.
The FCSC Director of Discipline and Appeals, Ojuh Agatha, told the Senator Peter Nwaoboshi- led Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs that the method of sack is strange and unknown to the civil service, and a breach of the Civil Service rule.
According to her, if there was an established prima facie evidence against any officer, such official will be suspended in order to ensure that there was unhindered investigation.
She said the commission was aware of the development in the NDDC, adding that due processes were not observed by the commission prior to the sack of the management staff.
Speaking earlier, counsel to the sacked NDDC staff, Patrick Akan, said the sacked workers were opposed to the complete breach of procedure and recklessness in stealing public funds and advised against it.
He said there was no procedure for their removal as the exercise was carried out randomly by the IMC.
Akan called for the immediate reversal of what he described as illegal disciplinary action taken against the affected senior management staff of the NDDC through mandatory leave and compulsory retirement.
He posited “that under the law and the NDDC Conditions of Service, only a legally constituted governing board has the power to authorise and approve the promotion of officers on grade level 14 and above. It is also the board that is vested with the power to discipline this category of senior staff in accordance with the law.”
He added that the affected staff did not have the right of fair hearing and that the action taken against them did not follow the procedure prescribed by the conditions of service.
Committee Chairman, Nwaoboshi, in his remarks, said the investigation has nothing to do with the alleged recklessness in the IMC, but for the sacked management staff.
Nwaoboshi, who explained that the investigation was necessitated by the petition forwarded to the Senate by the affected staff, said as people’s representative, it was within their parliamentary responsibility to listen, reiterating that no amount of intimidation and blackmail would stop the investigation.