By Sanni Onogu, Abuja
The erstwhile Clerk to the National Assembly (CNA), Mohammed Ataba Sani-Omolori has replied the query issued to him by the National Assembly Service Commission (NASC).
The Executive Chairman of the NASC, Engr. Ahmed Kadi Amshi, had queried Sani-Omolori for rejecting a notice of his retirement from Service.
Following the query, the Commission on Friday named the Secretary, Procurement, Estate and Works (SPEW) in the National Assembly, Architect Amos Olatunde Ojo, as the new Acting Clerk to the National Assembly.
However, the outgoing CNA said that his press release rejecting the Commission’s notice of retirement was not an act of insubordination but was meant “to obviate a situation where the Commission will be seen as being insubordinate to the sovereignty of the Parliament of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
Sani-Omolori in his reply to the query dated July 16, 2020, titled: “Re-Query” said: “I am in receipt of the above vide your letter Reference No. NASC CHO/1/2 dated 16th July 2020, and wish to inform you that the press release issued was not intended to dictate to or undermine the Commission but to clarify the issues at stake in order to ensure peace and tranquility within the Assembly workforce.
“As the Clerk to the National Assembly, it is my responsibility to ensure staff matters are clearly disseminated at all times and to see to the efficient functioning of the legislative bureaucracy.
“The press release was indeed issued sequel to an emergency top management meeting I summoned yesterday as soon as my attention was drawn to your press release.
“It is also important to state that I was compelled to issue that statement via a press release as the circular from your office was brought to our attention via a press release instead of an administrative notice to my office as the Head of Legislative Service.
“It is imperative to recall my earlier letter Reference No. NASS/CNA/150/Vol13/698 (copy attached) drawing your attention to the defects in what the Commission relies on as the National Assembly Service Commission Act 2014 and the consequences thereof.
“You may also wish to recall that you had written a letter to the leadership of the National Assembly canvassing a reversal of the Resolution of the 8th Assembly in the Condition of Service.
“Management is aware of the following: That the Leadership of the House of Representatives rejected the request to reverse the Resolution and you were informed of this decision vide letter No. NASS/HR/LEG/14/3/30 dated 4th June, 2020;
“Management is also aware that the meeting of the joint leadership of the National Assembly has been conveyed on more than one occasion to deliberate on your request;
“Management is further aware that no decision had been taken at the Joint Leadership meeting so far on the matter.
“While Management considers that placing the matter before the Leadership of the National Assembly accords with the spirit and intent of the authentic National Assembly Service Commission Act, 2014, it will be premature to communicate any contrary decision at this time.
“It is in view of the foregoing that Management considered it imperative to issue the clarifications in the press release.
“Furthermore, Mr. Chairman, it might appear to you that my press release is an act of insubordination whereas my press release is actually to obviate a situation where the Commission will be seen as being insubordinate to the sovereignty of the Parliament of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“In the circumstances, Mr. Chairman should kindly consider my press release as a patriotic duty to save the National Assembly that we both have committed to serve faithfully.
“In answering your query, it is important to highlight that while you may rely on Section 6(b) to issue the query, however, as it relates to the Office of the Clerk to the National Assembly, Section 10 is quite instructive.
“It is hoped that my explanation above puts the records straight as I look forward to the deserved harmonious working relationship with the esteemed Commission in the months ahead.”
Section 10 of the National Assembly Service Commission Act 2014 deals with the “Removal from office of the Clerk to the National Assembly.”
It reads thus: “A person holding the office of the Clerk to the National Assembly shall only be removed by the Commission acting on an address supported by a simple majority of each House of the National Assembly praying that he be removed for inability to discharge his functions due to infirmity of the mind, body, any other cause or for misconduct.”