Fred Itua, Abuja
The National Assembly Service Commission (NASC) has queried the embattled Clerk to the National Assembly (CNA), Mr Mohammed Sani-Omolori, for “gross insubordination.”
The query with Reference number NASC/CHO/1/2 dated July 16, issued by the NASC Executive Chairman Ahmed Amshi, came barely 24 hours after two conflicting statements were issued by the Sani-Omolori and Amshi on what should be the retirement age for staff of the National Assembly.
Amshi in a query issued, yesterday, accused Sani-Omolori of insubordination saying being an employee of the NASC, he had no right to dictate the terms of workers’ retirement to the commission.
It read: “The attention of the National Assembly Service Commission was drawn to a press release titled: Retirement age for staff of the National Assembly is 40 years of service or 64 years of age whichever comes first dated July 15, and signed by Mohammed 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 Act, 2014 (as amended).
“The Clerk to the National Assembly has no authority whatsoever to dictate anything to the commission.
“Your press statement is considered by the commission as a 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 provision of Section 6(2)b of the National Assembly Service Act, 2014 (as amended) for this gross insubordination.”
The commission had earlier issued a statement directing all staff who have attained 35 years of service or 60 years old to proceed on retirement immediately.
This decision of the commission affected Sani-Omolori and 149 senior members of staff of the National Assembly.
The commission mandated those affected to proceed on leave immediately and that retirement letters would be sent to them.
Amshi said the directive was in line with the 2014 amended Act of the Service.
The letter dated July 15 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 July 15 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.”
There has been a running battle in the National Assembly over the continuous stay in office of Sani-Omolori, despite attaining the compulsory 35 years of service.
However, Sani-Omolori, in a statement, said the retirement age of staff of the National Assembly is 65 years or 40 years of service.
He said the decision of the eighth Assembly on the condition of service for staff has not been altered by the National Assembly.
The statement read: “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
“The Resolution of the 8th National Assembly on the Conditions of Service of Staff has not been rescinded nor abdicated by the National Assembly, who under the authentic National Assembly Service Act 2014 as passed is empowered to review any proposed amendment to the Conditions of Service by the Commission.
“Therefore, the National Assembly Service Commission does NOT have the powers to set aside the Revised Conditions of Service as passed by the 8th National Assembly.
“The Management had maintained a studied silence in deference to the leadership of the 9th National Assembly who is looking into the position being canvassed by the Commission. It is therefore intriguing that the National Assembly Service Commission has unilaterally gone ahead to take a ‘decision.’
“Management urges all staff to disregard the press release by the Commission and go about their lawful duties.”