N’Assembly Staff Urge NASC against Recalling Outgoing CNA 

Sunday Aborisade in Abuja 

The Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) has written the National Assembly Service Commission (NASC), asking it to stop the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan from recalling the outgoing Clerk to the National Assembly, Mr. Olatunde Ojo currently on his on his three-month pre-retirement leave since November 14.

Lawan had directed the Chairman of NASC, Mr. Ahmed Amshi, through a letter, dated November 17 to recall Ojo so that he could spend his pre-retirement leave in office, citing the “exigencies of the time.” 

Ojo was due to retire from service on February 14, 2023.

Lawan however 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 of Buhari for his assent as reasons, Ojo should be recalled 

The Authentication Act, according to the Senate President, could only be done by a substantive CNA.

However, National Assembly staff under the auspices of PASAN said all the reasons given by Lawan to recall Ojo were not tenable.

The union, 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 Service in the National Assembly.

It insisted that the letter by the senate president, was in direct violation of Section 7 of 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 its (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 acting CNA from transmitting bills.

Similarly, some workers at the National Assembly Service Commission have asked the leadership of the federal parliament to stop alleged plans by the Peoples Democratic Party to influence the appointment of the substantive CNA. 

The affected staff stated this in separate interviews with THISDAY, 

They specifically alleged that, there was a plot to confirm the appointment of the acting CNA, Tambuwal, a former Secretary of the Finance and Accounts Department, as the substantive CNA.

The workers further alleged that efforts were already on course by a Governor in the North West, a member of the PDP, to install his brother as the Clerk to the National Assembly. 

One of the sources said: “The process has been planned. Just like what happened in 2015, an opposition party is working with the outgoing Clerk to ensure that Tambuwal takes over as the substantive CAN and ensure that the party controls the structure of the parliament, after the 2023 general elections.”

Meanwhile PASSAN has said it did not understand the absurdity in having a substantive Clerk and an acting Clerk functioning simultaneously.

The union said, “We have searched everywhere in Public Service and history where that had been practised and could not find such precedent.

“This greatly distorts the hierarchy of the National Assembly Service.

“Also, directing that Architect Ojo Olatunde should work with the acting Clerk is subordinating Architect Ojo to his junior colleague without clearly stating in what capacity Ojo is to operate.

“Recalling Architect Ojo Olatunde from retirement leave and appointing Mr Inyang as acting Secretary of Finance and Accounts, SFA, has rendered Mr Sani Tambuwal non functional as he is neither the CNA nor the SFA.”

The Union warned that the policy summersault exhibited by the Commission has only ignited tension in the National Assembly with negative impact on the existing fragile industrial harmony in the service.

The Union implored the NASC to strictly adhere to the provisions of the law as stated in Section 2 subsection 7 12102(b) of the conditions of service in the National Assembly Service.

The Union said it objected to the decision of the Commission to recall the outgoing Clerk to the National Assembly as it opposes all known norms, practices and procedures in the public service.

It therefore urged the Commission to adhere strictly to the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, NASC Act 2014, its own rules as stated in the conditions of service in the National Assembly Service and extant circulars and rules to ensure harmonious industrial relations in the system.

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