Show of power, the National Assembly Service Commission (NASC) has dismissed the order of Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, to reverse the appointment of Mr Mohammed Sani-Omolori as acting clerk to the National Assembly.
The commission through its chairman, Dr Adamu Fika said Mr Saraki was ill-informed. NASC had appointed Mohammed Sani-Omolori as acting clerk to the National Assembly ahead of the incumbent deputy clerk to the National Assembly, Mr Ben Efeturi, a move Mr Saraki expressly rejected through a letter to the commission.
Responding to Saraki’s letter, Fika, in a leter dated April 26, said Omolori happened to be the next most senior clerk adding that the commission discovered that the incumbent deputy clerk to the National Assembly, Mr Ben Efeturi, would proceed on pre-retirement leave on August 2, 12 days before the outgoing clerk, Salisu Maikasuwa, would be due to retire.
Fika’s letter to the Senate president read in part: “I wish to kindly invite your attention to the reason alleged in your letter to have been used to deny Mr Bene Efeturi from being appointed as the acting clerk, being that he was not duly appointed as deputy clerk of the National Assembly.
“It is necessary to place on record the career progression of the two officers in the hierarchy of the National Assembly as follows: “Deputy Director: Mr Efeturi 1st January 2004, Mr Sani-Omolori 1st January 2003; Director, Mr Efeturi 1st January 2008; Sani-Omolori, 1st January 2007.
“Acting Clerk, Mr Efeturi, 4th February 2010; Sani-Omolori, 4th February 2010; substantive clerk, Mr Efeturi, 25th March, 2010; Mr Sani-Omolori, 25th March 2010.
“It should be noted that in the Nigerian public service, seniority is determined at the time of consideration for promotion and career progression chart leading to it.
“Seniority has never and is never decided by the date of appointment to the service nor date of retirement from service or indeed the number of years spent in the service. “ From that above analysis, denying Mr Mohammed Sani-Omolori appointment as deputy clerk to the National Assembly in 2014 was improper, being that he was senior to Mr Benedict Efeturi.”
But a Tribune newspaper source in the Assembly said that the rules were very clear on who should take over from the outgoing clerk, insisting that it would be a violation of the international norms which would not be applicable to the NASS.
The source warned that the appointment of Mr Sani-Omolori was capable of injecting bad blood into the bureaucracy, as it was contrary to civil service rules which recognise order of seniority in the appointment and which favours Mr Efeturi ahead of Omolori to succeed the outgoing clerk.