By Ignatius Okorocha
Tension gripped National Assembly workers on Wednesday , over sacking of the Clerk , Alhaji Mohammed Sani- Omolori and 150 others by the National Assembly Service Commission ( NASC) with counter directive by Omolori that the commission lacked powers to do so.
NASC had in a statement signed by its Executive Chairman, Engineer Ahmed Kadi Amshi , ordered Omolori and about 150 directors who had either put in 35 years of service or attained the age of 60 to immediately vacate their various offices in line with the national public service rule .
The statement titled : ” National Assembly Service Commission Approves the Retirement Age for the Staff of the National Assembly Service as 35 years of service or 60 years of age or which ever comes first ” reads : ” 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 15th July 2020 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.
“To this effect, 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.
“Retirement letters would be issued to the affected staff accordingly”.
But hours after , the Clerk to the National Assembly , Sani- Omolori , in a counter directive , urged all the affected staffers to ignore the NASC directive as according to him, service year for staff of National Assembly , has been extended to 40 and age of retirement 65 as accordingly approved and adopted during the 8th Senate .
Omolori in the counter statement , titled: ” Retirement Age for Staff of the National Assembly is 40 years of service or 65 years of Age of retirement”, reads : ” The attention of the National Assembly Management has been drawn to a Press Release dated 15th July, 2020 signed by the Chairman of the National Assembly Service Commission, informing the general public that the Commission has approved the retirement age of staff of the National Assembly as 35 years of service or 60 years of age whichever comes first.
“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”.
With the conflicting directives , many staffers of the National Assembly , felt disturbed as they were seen discussing in hushed tones on which of the directives , will have the power of force in days to come .