By Henry Umoru
THE ongoing quagmire rocking the National Assembly, NASS, between the Clerk to the National Assembly, CNA, Mohammed Ataba Sani-Omolori and the Chairman, National Assembly Service Commission (NASC), Ahmed Amshi, Friday took a new dimension as Omolori has finally been sacked.
In a letter signed yesterday night by the Executive Chairman, NASC, Engr. Ahmed Kadi Amshi, the secretary of procurement, estate and works, Arch Amos Olatunde Ojo has been appointed as Acting Clerk to the National Assembly, CNA in place of Omolori.
The Secretary of legal matters, Bala Mohammed Yabani has been appointed the Acting Deputy Clerk to the National Assembly while Dauda Ibrahim El- Ladan has according to the memo been made the Acting Clerk of the Senate replace the present Clerk of the Senate, Nelson Ayewoh.
In the letter, only the Clerk of the House of Representatives, Patrick Giwa retained his position, just as Yusuf Asir Danbatta was appointed the Acting Secretary of the National Assembly Commission.
Amshi’s letter is titled, “the National Assembly Service Commission Approves the Appointment of top Management Officers in the Service.”
The letter read, “Pursuant to its mandate as provided in the National Assembly Service Act 2014 (as Amended). Section 6(b) which states “appoint persons to hold or act in the Offices of the clerk to the National Assembly; The Deputy clerk to the National Assembly; Clerk of the Senate; Clerk of the House of Representatives; Deputy Clerk of the Senate: Deputy Clerk of House of Representatives; Secretaries to Directorates; and Holders of other offices that shall be created by the Commission on the recommendation of the Clerk to the
“The National Assembly Service Commission at an emergency meeting held today, Friday, l7th July 2020 has approved the appointments of some senior management staff for the Service.
“Those appointed are: Ojo Amos Olatunde Acting Clerk to the National Assembly; Bala Yabani Mohammed Acting Deputy Clerk to the National Assembly; Dauda Ibrahim El-Ladan Acting Clerk, Senate; Patrick .A. Giwa to remain, Clerk, House of Representatives pending his retirement in November 2020 and Yusuf Asir Danbatta Acting Secretary to the National Assembly Service Commission
“All appointments are with immediate effect.”
Ahmed Amshi had on Thursday issued Omolori a query, giving him twenty- four hours to explain why disciplinary action should not be taken against him for gross Insubordination.
In the Query to Omolori, the NASC Executive Chairman, Amshi reminded Omolori as the Clerk to the National Assembly, he is an employee of the National Assembly Service Commission, vide Section 6(1)b of the National Assembly Service Act, 2014 (As amended).
Recall that the crisis in the National Assembly on Wednesday reared its head in a different form when Omolori and NASC Chairman engaged in the serious power play.
The controversy at the moment is the issue of retirement age of the CNA and 150 other Directors at the National Assembly, just as Omolori and Amshi yesterday engaged each other in an open disagreement following notice of retirement issued to all senior staff due for retirement including Omolori himself.
Also, recall that rising from a meeting on Wednesday, the NASC Chairman had quickly announced the immediate retirement of the Clerk to the National Assembly (CNA) and over 150 senior officials of the Assembly who had attained the retirement age.
According to NASC, it took such a decision in line with the National Assembly Service Act 2014 (as amended).
A statement signed by the Chairman of the commission, Engr. Ahmed Kadi Amshi, read: “Pursuant to its mandate as provided in the National Assembly Service Act 2014 (as amended), the National Assembly Service Commission at its 497th meeting held on Wednesday 15th July 2020 has approved the retirement age of the staff of the National Assembly Service as 35 years of service or 60 years of age whichever comes first.
“The Commission has approved the immediate retirement of staff of the National Assembly Service who have already attained the retirement age of 35 years of service or 60 years of age.”
But Omolori in a statement he personally signed l, immediately took a swipe at the Amshi, saying he has no powers to retire workers in the manner it had done.
Omolori’s had said: “The Management of the National Assembly wishes to inform all staff and the general public that the extant regulation as contained in our Revised Conditions of Service duly passed by both Chambers of the 8th National Assembly puts the retirement age of staff at 40 years of service and 65 years of age whichever comes first.”
Amshi’s query to Omolori said, “The attention of the National Assembly Service Commission was drawn to a Press Release titled: “Retirement age for the staff of the National Assembly Service is 40 years of Service or 65 years of age, whichever comes first” dated 15th July 2020 and signed by M.A Sani-Omolori, Clerk to the National Assembly.
“As you are very much aware, the Clerk to the National Assembly is an employee of the National Assembly Service Commission, vide Section 6(1)b of the National Assembly Service Act, 2014 (As amended).
“The Clerk to the National Assembly has no authority whatsoever to dictate anything to the Commission. Your press release is considered by the Commission as gross insubordination to a constituted authority.
“You are, by this letter requested to explain to the Commission within twenty-four (24) hours as to why disciplinary action will not be taken against you as per the provision of Section 6(2)b of the National Assembly Service Act, 2014 (As Amended) for this gross insubordination.”
When contacted, the embattled Omolori acknowledged the receipt of the Query from Amshi and promised to respond to it accordingly.
Omolori said: “I will respond to query appropriately, the content of which will make concerned parties, understand the issues at stake better.”
Meanwhile, the quagmire is creating a serious crack in the leadership of the National Assembly when the House of Representatives insisted last month on retaining its resolution that extended the tenure of the National Assembly Clerk, Alhaji Mohammed Ataba Sani-Omolori and some 150 top officials of the Assembly.
It was gathered however that the decision may have destroyed the cordial relationship between the two chambers as the Senate leadership is reportedly seeking the reversal of that resolution to enable the National Assembly Service Commission to terminate the tenure extension.
The House of Representatives rejected a memo by the National Assembly Service Commission seeking to cancel parts of the resolution particularly the one relating to the extension of retirement age of Omolori and other officials.
Both chambers of the National Assembly had in 2018 debated and approved the new conditions of service for National Assembly Staff which included the extension of tenure.
As a result of the amendment of the National Assembly’s Condition of Service, the retirement years for public servants in the National Assembly was moved from 35 to 40 years while retirement age was upgraded from 60 to 65 years.
When he resumed his appointment as the National Assembly Service Commission chairman, Ahmed Amshi, early this year, the tenure extension began to witness increased criticisms and he set up a panel to investigate the issues around the tenure extension.
Against this backdrop, Amshi wrote to the two chambers of the National Assembly seeking the rescission of their 2018 resolutions to allow for the sack of Omolori and the 150 senior staff whose tenure was extended.