By Henry Umoru & Joseph Erunke
ABUJA – FOR allegedly violating due process in the appointment of Alhaji Mohammed Sani-Omolori, as Acting Clerk of the National Assembly,Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has ordered urgent withdrawal of appointment letter issued to that effect.
Saraki’s letter contained in a memorandum, entitled “Withdrawal of letter of appointment of Acting Clerk of the National Assembly” dated 22nd April, 2016, was obtained by Vanguard Tuesday.
There are fears that the Senate President’s action may lcreate major division in the National Assembly bureaucracy.
The letter addressed to the Executive Chairman, National Assembly Service Commission, Dr. Adamu M. Fika, was signed by Senator Isa Galaudu, Chief of Staff to the Senate President.
Recall that Mr. Sani-Omolori was appointed on Tuesday to replace Alhaji Salisu Maikasuwa, who is scheduled to proceed on terminal leave on May 14, 2016.
In the letter ordering withdrawal of Sani-Omolori’s appointment, the Senate President, noted that the National Assembly Service Commission ignored the directive that it should follow due process and ensure that seniority was adhered to in the appointment of a new clerk of the National Assembly.
The Senate President also said the commission ignored the directive that Mr. Benedict Efeturi, the Deputy Clerk of the National Assembly, who had acted as the Clerk of the National Assembly, should be the first to be considered.
The letter read in part, “We present to you the compliments of the President of the Senate and Chairman of the National Assembly, Distinguished Senator (Dr.0 Abubakar Bukola Saraki, CON. Please recall that during your last meeting with the President of the Senate on April 20, 2016, the procedure of the appointment of the Acting Clerk of the National Assembly was discussed.
“The Commission was directed to follow due process and ensure that seniority is adhered to. Of course, Mr. Benedict Efeturi who is Deputy Clerk of the National Assembly (DCNA) and who has previously acted as the Clerk of the National Assembly should be the first to be considered.
“Most importantly, you have been directed to confer with the President of the Senate the outcome of the Commission’s meeting before a letter of appointment is issued and regrettably that did not happen.
“The President of the Senate and Speaker of the House of Representatives were informed that Mr. Efeturi was not considered for the appointment because he was not duly appointed as Deputy Clerk of the National Assembly. On further enquiries, we found he was duly appointed by the National Assembly Service Commission.
“Consequently, I am directed by His Excellency, the President of the Senate, to inform you that the letter appointing Mr. Sani Omolori as Acting Clerk of the National Assembly be withdrawn immediately for further consultations.”
Sources said that the failure of the National Assembly Service Commission to follow seniority in the appointment of the Acting Clerk “is an affront on the guiding principles of the appointment and promotion in the National Assembly.”
One of the sources noted that “even if Efeturi was not going to be appointed on the ground of seniority and the fact that he is Deputy Clerk of the National Assembly, reasons should have been provided by the appointing authorities in order not to create bad blood in the system.”
He noted that it is not clear how the issue will be resolved “since a major mistake seemed to have been made in the first instance.”