..Latest recall memo initiated by Buhari’s Chief of Staff
..As lawmakers set for fresh battle with Presidency, Shu’ara
By Soni Daniel, Northern Region Editor
ABUJA—President Muhammadu Buhari has further extended the tenure of embattled Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Education, Jamila Shu’ara, to 2018.
The extension of Shuára’s appointment, who retired from service last year, is in defiance of a resolution passed by the House of Representatives Committee on Basic Education, asking the embattled official to refund all the emoluments she received in the past one year and return to her home with immediate effect.
To worsen matters for the woman, who did not appear before the committee when summoned, the tenure extension letter purportedly written by President Buhari, was not produced when requested by the lawmakers, thereby setting the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, and Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Winifred Oyo-Ita, who appeared on her behalf, on collision course with the legislators.
Oyo-Ita, who signed the first memo extending Shu’ara’s tenure on February 24, 2016, could not, however, produce the instrument from the Presidency authorising her to write such a letter, which the lawmakers considered illegal and untenable under the nation’s scheme of things.
However, in a very bizarre fashion that may rattle both the lawmakers and Nigerians, the Presidency has issued a new extension letter to Shu’ara to return to office, after she had left surreptitiously following the threat from the lawmakers to arrest her if she does not show up.
The new letter signed by Head of Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, and dated March 29, 2017, formally recalls her from retirement and effectively extends her tenure to February 16, 2018.
The three-paragraphed letter read: “This is to inform you that His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, in line with the provisions of Section 171 (2) (d) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, vide letter reference No. SH/COS/100/A/1541, extended your retirement period by one (1) year with effect from February 17, 2017.
“Consequent upon this, your emoluments and other conditions of service will remain sustained up to 16th February, 2018 in a special dispensation, which should not be cited as policy.
“Please accept my congratulations and best regard on the extension of your retirement period,” Oyo-Ita wrote, indicating that the authority to do so emanated from Chief of Staff to the President.
It was learnt that the lawmakers, who got wind of Shua’ara’s fresh recall letter last week, were patiently waiting for the retired Permanent Secretary to make any move to return to the Ministry of Education before slamming Buhari and the Head of Service for trying to turn the law on its head on account of a retired worker, when others have been denied promotion on account of inadequate vacancies.
Neither the Chairman of the Education Committee in the House of Representatives, Zakari Mohammed, nor his deputy, Emeka Anuho, could be reached for comments on the latest memo written by the Presidency to the embattled retiree.