N’Assembly Staff Members Fault Lawan, Kick against Recall of Clerk
Sunday Aborisade in Abuja
The Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) has written to the National Assembly Service Commission (NASC), asking it to stop the President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan from recalling the outgoing Clerk to the National Assembly, Mr. Olatunde Ojo, who commenced his three-month pre-retirement leave since Monday, November 14, 2022.
Lawan had directed the Chairman of NASC, Mr. Ahmed Amshi, through a letter, dated November 17, 2022, to recall Ojo so that he could spend his pre-retirement leave in office, citing the “exigencies of the time.”
Ojo is due to retire from service on February 14, 2023.
But the Senate President wanted him to spend his terminal leave in office so that the acting CNA, Sani Tambuwal, could understudy him on how to carry out the functions and responsibilities of the CNA.
Lawan specifically cited the authentication of the clean copy of the budget and its transmission to President Buhari for his assent as reasons for his recall.
The Authentication Act, according to the Senate President, could only be done by a substantive CNA.
But the members of staff of the National Assembly under the auspices of PASAN, have said all the reasons given by Lawan to recall Ojo were not tenable.
The union made its position known in a letter to the NASC chairman, dated November 24, 2022, a copy of which was obtained by THISDAY in Abuja,
PASAN’s letter to the NASC chairman was signed by its Secretary General, Awobifa Hammed, who also sent a copy to the Director of the Department of State Services (DSS) in the National Assembly.
In the letter, the union insisted that the letter by the Senate President was in direct violation of Section 7 of the NASC Act, which states that “in exercising its powers to make appointments or exercise disciplinary control over persons, the commission shall not be subjected to the direction or control of any authority or persons.”
The union said it found it strange that both the Senate President and the commission contravened the commission’s rule.
PASAN while reacting to the Authentication Act cited by Lawan, explained that two former clerks to the National Assembly, Sani Omolori and Salisu Maikasuwa, signed and transmitted bills, including that of appropriation, while they were in their acting capacities.
The union added that as acting President, Vice president Yemi Osinbajo signed numerous bills, including the 2017 Appropriation Act and argued that if an acting president could sign bills, what would stop an acting CNA from transmitting bills?