More agony for the embattled President of Nigerian Senate, Bukola Saraki as the Clerk of the National Assembly and the man who made it possible for Bukola Saraki to become senate president, Malam Salihu Maikasuwa has been replaced.
The National Assembly Service Commission (NASC) has approved the appointment of Mohammed Sani-Omolori as the acting Clerk to the National Assembly (CNA) for a period of three months effective from Friday, May 13, 2016 when the incumbent, Salisu Maikasuwa, will proceed on pre-retirement leave ahead of his retirement later in August.
It was reported on Monday that Maikasuwa would be proceeding on his compulsory pre-retirement leave on Friday, May 13, 2016.
Maikasuwa has a deputy, Ben Efeturi, who, by tradition, should succeed him. Apart from Efeturi, there is a pool of secretaries of the Directorates.
They include Daniel Adem of Legal Services; Olajide Adelami of Procurement, Estate and Works; Lasisi Bukoye of Finance and Accounts; C. J. Usman, Corporate Affairs and Dr. Moma Efretuei of Common Services.
It was learnt that since they are in the rank of Permanent Secretaries, they are eminently qualified for appointment as CNA.
But the NASC decision was conveyed in a letter addressed to Sani-Omolori through Maikasuwa yesterday.
It was titled “Appointment As Acting Clerk To The National Assembly” dated Wednesday, April 20, 2016 and signed by NASC executive chairman, Alhaji Adamu Mohammed Fika.
“I am writing to inform you that the National Assembly Service Commission at its 440th meeting held on Wednesday 20th April, 2016 has approved your appointment as Acting Clerk to the National Assembly. This appointment who takes effect from 13th May, 2016 to 15th August, 2016 is in exercise of its powers as provided in Section 6b of the National Assembly Service Act 2014.
“The appointment is in recognition of your hard work, dedication to duty and very responsible conduct since joining the service. I have no doubt in my mind that you will justify the confidence reposed in you by the Commission and the Leadership of the National Assembly,” Fika wrote.
Meanwhile, before the appointment of Sani-Omolori was made public yesterday, there were already subterranean moves by the top echelons of the NASC to jettison seniority and install him as the next substantive Clerk of the National Assembly (CNA).
Although the number two official in the National Assembly bureaucratic ladder and current Deputy Clerk (DNA), Ben Efeturi, initially looks set to take over from Maikasuwa, but information gathered suggested that the powers-that-be were looking at a contrary direction to pick a successor to the retiring CNA.
Insiders said the unfolding scenario is contrary to the change mantra of President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration as the NASS commission has breached due process by appointing its preferred candidate.
“Incidentally the plot is at the instance of the commission chairman, who understands bureaucracy very well, but he is doing everything to achieve the aim,” a top official said.
The official, who preferred not be named, added that the commission had earlier met on Monday and Tuesday this week over the matter.
The commission comprises 12 members while its chairman, Fika, who hails from Yobe State, is said to be backing Omolori, who is an indigene of Kogi State.
Fika was said to be on the necks of other commissioners of NASC, urging them to recommend Omolori while he is said to be pushing for the retirement of Efeturi.
Omolori is the current clerk of the House of Representatives wing of the National Assembly and was said to have been eager to become the CNA eventually and become the substantive CNA in August when Maikasuwa retires.
“Ideally, Efeturi should be the acting Clerk of NASS since he has few months to retire while Mr Olajide Adelami ought to be appointed as acting Deputy Clerk of NASS. This is in line with the rules, competence, cognate experience and capacity,” the source added.
It is on record that Fika had about two years ago unilaterally appointed Omolori as the deputy CNA without resolution and due process. But other members kicked. This prompted Fika to reverse Omolori’s appointment while Efeturi was later appointed as the DNA.
The former Clerk who presided over the senate leadership elections in June last year favoured Saraki and his group by staging the exercise while nearly half the senators converged at the International Conference Center for a scheduled meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari.
Prior to the inauguration and the subsequent leadership elections, the Clerk directed the affairs of the National Assembly and could have shifted the elections till later in the day to allow for the presence of full house in the red chamber
The retiring Clerk who will proceed on terminal leave in the middle of next month will be remembered by Nigerians as one of the greatest saboteurs of President Buhari's change agenda