There is an intense debate and brewing power tussle going on at the National Assembly over the propriety of the mass sack of Kogi born Alhaji Mohammed Sani-Omolori Clerk of the National Assembly, CNA and 149 others by the National Assembly Service Commission, NASC.
Whereas the NASC has insisted on the legality of the sack, Omolori directed the sacked staff to disregard the sack order.
The Commission had on Wednesday sacked Sani-Omolori and 149 others including Secretary of NASC, Mr. Olusanya Ajakaiye in a letter by the Commission.
The Commission declared that any staff who has spent 35 years in service or is 60-yr-old should leave and would receive their retirement letter soon. The development finally resolves the tenure elongation agitation for the CNA and the affected staff.
But, Sani-Omolori, said his continued stay in office is backed by law and cannot be voided by the NASC. He has vehemently rejected the sack.
In a statement in Abuja on Wednesday, Sani-Omolori said the commission does not have the powers to set aside the revised condition of service passed by the previous assembly.
He therefore directed all staff of the legislative chamber whom the commission asked to proceed on retirement to disregard the directive and “go about their lawful duties.”
It would be recalled that Ahmed Amshi, the commission’s chairman, had approved the retirement age for national assembly staff as 60 years of age or upon 35 years of service, contrary to the requirement stated in the amended conditions of service.
A plot by the previous assembly saw the conditions of service of the national assembly staff being amended, increasing the requirement of retirement for the staff to 65 years or 40 years of pensionable service.
In addition to Sani-Omolori who started his civil service career on February 6, 1985, and was initially due to retire in February, some other senior management staff of the national assembly were affected by the new development.
Amshi in a statement said “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,” and that “retirement letters would be issued to the affected staff accordingly.”
But reacting shortly after, Sani-Omolori said the amended condition of service for national assembly staff remains in place.
“The resolution of the 8th National Assembly on the Conditions of Service of Staff has not been rescinded nor abdicated by the National Assembly, who under the authentic National Assembly Service Act 2014 as passed, is empowered to review any proposed amendment to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,” he said.
“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 development has led to confusion among the affected staff and others in the National Assembly.