Retirement Age: Rights Group Threatens to Sue Lawan, Gbajabiamila

Civil Society Coalition for Parliamentary Reforms(CSPR), has threatened to drag the President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt Hon Femi Gbajabiamila over the alleged plot to tamper the the resolution of the 8th National Assembly on the new construction of Service for the Staff of the National Assembly

The group, at a press briefing at the weekend, said they will go to Court, if the National Assembly, did not abandon an alleged plot, to suspend an earlier resolution raising the age of retirement for the Clerk of the National Assembly and other principal officers and other staff from 35 to 40.

The Convener of the group, Mr. Omoluabi Bode Adeyemi, issued the threat , while calling on the House and Senate to let a resolution by the 8th Assembly, raising the age of retirement for the above category of officers, stay.

According to the Group,”We wish to let the world know that the CSPR will not hesitate to take legal action to ensure that our laws are obeyed to the letter, irrespective of who it favours or not

” CCPR is worried that the latest of such illegal moves, is the way and manner certain person’s in the 9th National Assembly, wants to bulldoze into tampering with the resolution of the 8th National Assembly on the National Assembly Service Commission’s condition of service, particularly the clause extending their retirement age from 35 to 40

“We are shocked that of all the reformatory amendments effected on NASC condition of service, some external forces, have singled out the new retirement age, as a subject of concern”.

He said ” It is unconstitutional, illegal and indeed an injury on our democracy, to contemplate tampering with this clause or disregard the provisions after it was jointly passed by both Chambers of National Assembly”.

According to him, ” We are not oblivious of interests at the 9th National Assembly, that have concluded arrangements to use public offices to reward political loyalists, an attempt that will kill motivation, derail the system and most obviously, erode the reservoir of Parliamentary service experience gathered over the years.

“It is important to state that neither Clerk of the National Assembly (CNA), Alhaji Mohammed Sani Omolori, nor any of the first phase of about 150 NASC staff, has been alleged to have committed infractions in the course of performing their duties. If indeed there is, such a person be identified and made to account for their actions and not to resort to crude means, to disparage a resolution legally made”, he adviced.

The issue of retirement age for senior civil servants at the National Assembly, has generated a lot of controversy, leading to suspicions that Speaker Gbajabiamila, may have issued a memo from his office to the NASC, “supporting” a resolution earlier passed with his predecessor, Yakubu Dogara upping the age of retirement of national assemy staff from 35 to 40, with the concurrence of the Senate.

The Speaker has however, strongly distanced himself, from the said memo, even though it is said to have emanated from the office of his Chief of Staff.

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