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Old habits die hard! North awards self lion’s share in NASS’s new appointments as development sparks protests

There is a looming crisis in the National Assembly over alleged abuse of civil service regulation in the appointment of key officers running the Parliament’s bureaucracy.

The simmering crisis is a fallout of the appointment of key officers to the top management team of the National Assembly’s bureaucracy, with Mr. Sani Magaji Tambuwal, erstwhile Secretary of Finance and Accounts, appointed as the acting Clerk of the National Assembly.

Tambuwal’s appointment followed the former Clerk, Amos Ojo’s compulsory retirement leave which began last Monday.

A statement issued by the Chairman of NASC, Ahmed Kadi Amshi, listed other appointments to include Mr. Ogunlana Kamoru, former Secretary of Legal Services now Acting Deputy Clerk of the National Assembly (DCNA).

Similarly, Mrs. Henrietta Aimua-Ehikioya, former Secretary of Special Duties now Secretary of Legal Services.

Mr. Birma Shuaibu, Director, Legislative, now Acting Secretary of the Human Resources Directorate; Mr. Umoru Barde Ali, Director, Pharmacy now Acting Secretary of Research and Information while Mr. Omogbehin Yomi, Director, Legislative is now Acting Secretary, Special Duties.

According to the statement, Mr. Inyang Clement Titus, Director of Accounts, is now Acting Secretary of Finance and Accounts and Mr. Nwoba Andrew, Director, Admin is now Acting Secretary of Planning and Legislative Budget.

“The appointments were sequel to the approval by the Commission of a memorandum presented by the Committee on Establishment, Records and Training to the Commission on the need to fill existing vacancies in the National Assembly Management team,” the NASC chairman said in a statement.

“The Commission further resolved that the outgoing Clerk to the National Assembly, Arc. Ojo Olatunde Amos continues to work with the acting Clerk to the National Assembly, Sani Magaji Tambuwal until his retirement date of 14th February, 2023 in order to ensure the success of the ongoing 2023 Appropriation Bill’s processing that should be transmitted by only the substantive Clerk to the National Assembly accordance with the provisions of the Authentication Act.”

However , some aggrieved staff members said the appointments didn’t follow the Civil Service Rule while also ignoring the issue of seniority in the appointment of key officers.

For instance, one of the staffers said Aimua-Ehikioya, the most senior staff member, was bypassed in favour of her junior, a member of staff from North West, who was picked as Clerk.

Similarly, Rawlings Agada, the Director of Information, who is the most senior staff member in the Directorate, was bypassed and his junior appointed as his boss.

With the appointment of Tambuwal, the North now controls the Bureaucracy of the National Assembly.

Chairman of NASC, who was nominated by President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, hails from North East; he was Lawan’s Chief of Staff until his appointment.

Tambuwal hails from North West while the Director-General of the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS), Professor Abubakar Sulaiman, hails from the North Central.

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