Monday, January 11, 2010

National Assembly commission confirms acting Clerk, Deputy

The National Assembly Service Commission has confirmed the appointments of Oluyemi Ogunyemi as the acting Clerk to the National Assembly and Salisu Maikasuwa as acting Deputy Clerk.

Mr. Ogunyemi, formerly the deputy clerk, stepped into the position following the retirement of Nasiru Arab last October while Mr. Maikasuwa, who was the Clerk of the House of Representatives (Special Duties) was named the acting deputy clerk.

Mr. Ogunyemi will function in acting capacity until April 27, when he is to proceed on his terminal leave, preparatory to his retirement from service on July 27. This will pave way for Mr. Maikasuwa to take over as substantive Clerk.

However, last Friday's confirmation of the appointments may put the commission on a collision course with the leaderships of the Senate and the House of Representatives, which asked that the process be suspended to enable complaints raised by contenders to the positions be resolved.

The Deputy Chief Whip of the House, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, said the appointments by the commission were unilateral as both chambers of the federal legislature were not involved.

He added that the leadership of the House is yet to meet and resolve the many complaints against the commission and those appointed.

"To my knowledge, the leadership is not aware of such appointments," he said.

"As at is, we asked them to hold on until they furnish us with the nominal roll of all the staff, to verify the complaints that seniority was not followed in the planned appointments."

Ensure fairness

The lawmaker said until the House' leadership concludes its investigation into the complaints, it would not endorse any appointment made by the commission.

Asked if the leadership will likely reverse the appointments, Mr. Tambuwal said that would only be determined after the leadership meets and studies the various complaints.

"One thing is clear, any appointment that does not follow due process will not be endorsed by the leadership," he said.

The Spokesperson of the Senate, Ayogu Eze, said he was not in a position to comment on the matter.

Aliyu Dogondaji, the commission's chairperson, declined comment when contacted. He said, as a civil servant, he was not allowed to speak to the press. He, however, warned journalists to ensure fairness "in whatever you are going to write."

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