By Dipo Awojobi – The National Assembly Service Commission says there is no basis for withdrawing the appointment of the newly appointed acting Clerk of the National Assembly (NASS), Mohammed Sani-Omolori, as demanded by President of Senate, Bukola Saraki.
Dr Adamu Fika, the Executive Chairman of the commission, said this in a letter he sent to the President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, and copied to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, on Tuesday.
Fika said that the decision to appoint Sani-Omolori as acting Clerk instead of the elevating the current Deputy Clerk, Ben Efeturi was because the latter would proceed on Terminal leave on August 2.
He added that the date on which Mr Efeturi would proceed on terminal leave was just 12 days before the current Clerk, Mr Salisu Maikasuwa, would hand over to his successor.
“This means that Mr Efeturi is time barred for the acting appointment hence the choice of Mr Sani-Omolori to act and ensure continuity in that very important Public Service office.
“In arriving at the Commission’s decision, the Chairman did not use his casting vote, because eleven Commissioners were in support while only one who voted no,” he said.
He clarified that the denial of Efeturi the position of acting Clerk was not due to the allegation that he (Efeturi) was not duely appointed as Deputy Clerk as contained in Saraki’s letter.
On the issue of seniority, he noted that the duo were both appointed acting clerk on the same day, February 4, 2010, and on March 25, they were also appointed Substantive Clerks.
However, he added that Omolori was made a Director on January 1, 2007, one year earlier than Efeturi who was made a Director on January 1, 2008.
“It should be noted that in the Nigeria 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 the 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.
“With the above explanations, the issue of misleading and misinforming your good self and the Honourable Speaker of the House of Representatives does not arise.
“The Commission properly evaluated the two officers and took into account their service records as a determining factor for the appointment of Acting Clerk to the National Assembly.
“In light of all the foregoing, Your Excellency will agree that reversing the decision of the Commission appointing Mr Mohammed Sani-Omolori as the Acting Clerk to the National Assembly cannot be tenable in the circumstances,” he said.
The President of the Senate through his Chief of Staff had directed the withdrawal of the appointment of the acting Clerk of NASS