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Employment scam: Reps set to probe State House, MDAs over falsification of credentials, others

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****Summon Chairman, Civil Service Commission, Head of Service of the Federation

Some serving Permanent Secretaries, Directors and Assistant Directors in the State House and other Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the Federal Government have been alleged to have falsified their age, date of birth and other vital credentials such as West African Examination Council (WAEC) and Tertiary Institutions results
In line with that the House of Representatives Committee on Public Petitions has invited the
Chairman, Federal Civil Service Commission and Head of Service for the Federation to appear before it.
The invitations were sent by the Chairman, House Committee on Public Petitions, Hon. Jerry Alagbaso via two separate letters titled: ‘Request for names and personnel records’, with Reference No: NASS/9HR/CT.5 and dated 29th March, 2022.

The invitation reads: “The above Committee is investigating a petition laid on the floor of our Chambers on 29th March, 2022 regarding the falsifications and doctoring of ages, dates of Births and vital credentials of some Permanent Secretaries, Directors and Deputy Directors of MDAs and Parastatals as well as unauthorized extensions of service aenures by the Federal Civil Service Commission and the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation between 2015 – 2022.

“It is against the above background that we established the need to reach your office. Thus, we wish to request that you furnish the House of Representatives, Committee on Public Petitions within five (5) days with the names of all the Permanent Secretaries, Directors and Deputy Directors in all the Federal Ministries, Agencies and Parastatals and of course their present postings and those (if any) on extension of tenures. You are to submit five (5) copies of the above requests to the House of Representatives meeting Room 429, New Wing OR office No. 0.42 ground floor.”

The proposed investigative hearing was coming following the petition dated 11th March, 2021 initiated by a Civil Society Organisation, Anti Corruption and Integrity Forum addressed to the Speaker, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila and read on the floor of the House.

The 3-page petition was co-signed by Anti-Corruption and Integrity Forum’s President and Secretary, Dickson Sola Williams and Victoria Abam.

The Petitioners who solicited for the House intervention, called for investigation into the aforementioned allegations, including unauthorized extension of service tenures by Federal Civil Service Commission and Head of the Civil Service of the Federation between 2015 and 2022.

“The Anti-Corruption and Integrity Forum is an organization formed to advocate for transparency and accountability as well as protect the interest of Nigerians with regards to governance and government and associated issues.

“That considering the various efforts of government at combating corruption and other vices in Nigeria, we are determined to assist government to realize her objectives in that regard by holing government officers as well as heads of private organizations accountable for their actions in and out of office. And for us, there is no hiding place or places for any officer who betrayed the public trust.

“In the light of all these, we wish to ask the House of Representatives through her Committee on Public Petitions to investigate the various allegations of irregularities and illegalities being perpetuated by Permanent Secretaries, Directors and Assistant Directors in the Ministries, Departments, Agencies and Parastatals and supervised by Federal Civil Service Commission and Head of Civil Service of the Federation between 2015 – 2022.
“We the petitioners through an intelligence gathering and research have discovered falsification and doctoring of documents by some Permanent Secretaries, Directors and Assistant Directors in the various Ministries like Ministries of Agric, Sports, Head of Service office manned by I. A. Mairiga, Public Service Commission – especially office of recruitment and appointment manned by Ibrahim Anjuga, State House Asokoro, Ministries of Power, Environment, Special Duties, Labour and Productivity and some Agencies and Parastatals.

“That surprisingly the above irregularities are being superintended knowingly or unknowingly by the Federal Civil Service Commission (Recruitment and Appointment Section).

“Therefore, Mr. Speaker, your Committee on Public Petitions must unravel these irregularities by requesting the Chairman of the Federal Civil Service and the Head of Service to produce a comprehensive list of the Permanent Secretaries, Directors and Assistant Directors in the above Ministries, Departments, Agencies and Parastatals for scrutiny and investigation.

“Mr. Speaker, those who enjoying extensions of contract or contract appointments either as Permanent Secretaries, Directors and Assistant Directors from 2015 – 2022/23 in various areas said to be ‘in the public interest’ are to be submitted to the Public Petitions Committee for proper verifications and investigation in a public hearing where we intend to produce relevant names and documents.

“Mr. Speaker, there are various outcries today among some serving senior officials of the different ministries, departments, agencies and parastatals where there are snail-speed promotions and upward mobilities because some Permanent Secretaries, Directors and Assistant Directors refused to retire statutorily on attainments of 60 years or after serving for 35 years. Rather they stay put through falsification and doctoring of their credentials or year of employment thereby preventing others from upward service mobility.

“Mr. Speaker, for public interest, we request a televised public investigation of most of the Permanent Secretaries and Directors cum their Assistants where there Secondary School or Teachers Training Schools Certificates will be produced and scrutinized – by marrying them with their various University Degrees.

“Considering the zero corruption dispositions of president Buhari and House of Representatives under the able leadership of Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, we hereby call on the House of Representatives through her Committee on Public Petitions to look into these allegations and painstakingly investigate them to ensure that all those found culpable to any of the above irregularities are referred to the relevant authorities for prosecution and imprisonment for their criminal activities in the service of our nation,” the Petitioner urged,” the petition read.

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Legislature

Afeez Kilani declares to contest NASSLAF chairmanship

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***Says he is most experienced having gone through the ranks

Alhaji Prince Afeez Kilani, senior Legislative Aide to distinguished senator Buhari Abdulfatai has officially declared to contest for the chairmanship position of the National Assembly Legislative Aides Forum (NASSLAF)
Kilani who hails from Shaki west in Oyo State, South west Nigeria said he would bring his wealth of experience to bare by improving on the welfare of Legislative Aids.
“I have been here since the year 2015. I got here as a legislative Assistant, that is LA2 and because of thr level of dedication my boss promoted me to LA1 in 2019.
“Now I am the SLA to the distinguished senator Buhari Abdulfatai, he is a third time Senator in the Nigerian senate.
“With this carrier progression, coupled with my experience in the National Assembly, at least I have run through the ranks of the aides of the National Assembly.
“I think I am in the best position to understand the yearnings and the needed welfare of the legislative aides because I have gone through the ranks of the legislative aids.
“We don’t want a situation whereby an aide or a chairman will be elected and he will not understand what other legislative aides are going through.
He said there is no need to elect a chairman that will not understand the pains, the feelings and yearnings of Legislative aides.
He said he is a reflection, a manifest example of a leader who has gone through the ranks of legislative aid because, “I started my carrier as an SL2 but now I am the SLA so there is nothing that any legislative aide is going through that I don’t understand.
“With that understanding, I am in the best position pilot the affairs of the national Assembly legislative aides. If you give me your support, I am going to serve you better.”
On how he would be able to use diplomacy to settle disagreement with the management of the National Assembly when it arises, he said, “We are in the 21st century, and as a lawyer there is what is called alternative dispute resolution. In labour law, it is very important that confrontation, protests should be the last thing, should be on the last burner.
‘The first thing is negotiation, good approach to issues, we are in a democratic era. It is when all that fails that we can adopt confrontation which we are not going to even adopt.
“I know with my skills as a lawyer for more than 11 years of experience, it is not going to be difficult for me to meet with management to convince them of the reason why they should take care of us.”

Chairman of the Southwest National Assembly Legislative Forum, Ogumawola Ebeneza, said, “As you can see the ovation is laud because we have gone through rigorous screening and Southwest as a leading zone when it comes to affairs of the NASSLAF we have then everything in to consideration and we decided one voice to queue behind our own Barr.Hafiz Kelani as our candidate
The DG said the aides need a new lease of life.
“We are tired of recirculation of warn out leaders. We don’t want people that have been circulating themselves since the 5th Assembly.
“You have heard the voice of the aides, the first timers, and the semi first timers and we have decided as the South West zone we have decided to put our own, some one who’s door will be opened, who will not stay in the office wanting people to come and meet him.
“He is someone that will go round to know the needs and yearnings of the aides. This is the man we are looking for. This is the reason we are doing to stand by him, He is not for South West but for all the zones.
Olusola Olugbami AKA maintain said they need Somebody that will do what others have not been able to do, you know in the South West, we don’t take the back seat.
“Whenever we said we have resolved to do something that is what we will do. This is our candidate and by the grace of God, he is going to emerge victorious.

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Legislature

Senate panel quizzes Bakari as NFIU Boss

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The Senate Committee on Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes has on Monday quizzed Hafsat Bakari as the Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, (NFIU).

President Bola Tinubu last week appointed Bakari as the head of the Financial Intelligence Unit, pending her confirmation by the Senate.

By the appointment Bakari is to replace Modibbo Tukur who was relieved of his job by President Tinubu in June 2023.
Bakari is a lawyer and financial intelligence expert with years of experience in anti-money laundering, counter-terrorism financing, and counter-proliferation financing said she has “enough experience to discharge he duties”
Before her appointment as the Chief Executive Officer of the NFIU, she served as Deputy Director at the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, and was at different times the Head of the General Services Unit; Head of the Strategy and Reorientation Unit, and Head of the Board Secretariat of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
In a chat with newsmen after the screening, the Chairman Senate Committee on Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes, Senator Emmanuel Menga Udende expresses that Ms. Bakare will bring her wealth of experience and expertise to bare in the discharge of her mandate in this critical role, especially in view of the President Bola Tinubu’s war against illicit financial flows and other sharp practices currently prevalent in segments of the nation’s foreign exchange markets”
The Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) a creation of the National Assembly is the Nigerian federal agency responsible for collecting and analyzing disclosures from reporting organizations, in order to produce financial intelligence to other agencies combating money laundering, terrorism, and other financial crimes.
The NFIU was established in 2004 as an autonomous unit within the central coordinating body for the country’s Anti-Money Laundering, Counter-Terrorist Financing, and Counter-Proliferation Financing (AML/CFT/CPF) framework of Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN).
It also operates as part of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

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Imo North senator advocates for regional Governmment, police

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**Wants each regional Government to oversee its development commission

The senator representing Imo North Senatorial District Ndubueze Patrick Chiwuba has advocated for Regional Government and Regional Police Force as against the cloud for State Police.

Speaking on the heels of the passage of the bill for the establishment of the South East Development Commission senator Chiwuba described the politics of Regional Development commissions that has become a cash cow for some Nigerians as a welcome development as it will soon lead him to sponsor a bill for Regional Government

According him when each region is given its own Developmwnt Commission, it is another form of restructuring

“I’ll be happy, I’m supporting that 100%. After that I can bring up my bill.

“You know when people talk of restructuring, people see it in a different way. You understand? God can bless Nigeria from different angles. 

“Let us have regional governments to superintend over all these commissions so that nobody will now go and appropriate it to himself. 

“So what am I looking for? The restructuring has gotten it. So it is a very wonderful work. For me, when I saw the other regional commissions, I started preparing my bill for regional government.

“So what I’m trying to say is, it is a good omen. Every region should have it. And you are deriving money from the federal. Now, if you derive from the federal, those places where people can augment their own commission, they will go and augment and move ahead. “Others may copy them. And as such, what do we do there will be regional competition so that States do not need to go cap in hand to the Federal Government to share allocation

“So, my next bill, after we have gotten the commissions, will be a bill for us to adopt regional government. And the regional government will superintend over the commissions.
“If any, somebody can be held responsible by the people of the area. But when the chairman of the board is appointed from the federal level, he is not accountable to the area, the region, because he is not appointed by the people. The people don’t have authority to remove them or to replace them.
“So they behave like emperors because it’s only the federal that can call them to order. You understand? And if the federal wants to call them to order, their relations will go to plead on their behalf

“But when the regional government superintend over such and they are elected, you know what it means? So once you are doing bad either they recall you, or they remove you, or they make sure that your tenure is not renewed. 
Also speaking on the issue of the state police he said he is not an apostle of  state police but Regional.
He said the regional police will not be accountable to any particular governor. No person will use the regional police to fight his enemy, political enemy. 

But state police, people can use it to fight their enemy, but regional, nobody can, because the governors of the region will come together to provide funding
When it comes to regional police, it will derive its power from the region there, no single person can use them.

For now, the appointments, both the board and others are coming from the federal. And when they are appointed, they will recognize every state. That’s one. Two, the chairman and the executive members will be rotated from time to time.
On whether President Tinubu will assent to the South East Development Commission bill he said, “&I ’m not seeing any hindrance. Rather, it’s going to improve our politics in a better sense. What we need is development. What we need is freedom to operate. And that’s what the South is asking for – freedom to operate. 
“Once we have freedom to operate, the sky is the beginning, it’s not our limit. And every other part of the nation will benefit.
“If you go down the history, you know when we had regional governments? The South East was rated as the fastest growing economy in the world. Go and Google. During the regional government headed by Michael Okpara, the South East was rated as the fastest growing economy in the whole world. Now, since after the civil war, the South East had been abandoned. That’s why you see people crying of marginalization.

“First of all, we thank God for a day like this, that we can be happy, joyful, and glorify Him for the passage of this bill. And we thank the National Assembly for passing the bill as well.

“We are thanking Mr. President in advance for assenting to this Bill, because I know he will assent to the Bill. So it’s a good thing, it’s a good omen, not just for the South East, but for the nation Nigeria.

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