A coalition of civil society organisations on Monday alleged that three senior officers of the National Assembly falsified their official records.
The groups, therefore, called for necessary disciplinary actions against the affected officers as contained in the conditions of service of the National Assembly Service (July 2020 edition).
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The affected officers, according to them are, Okpara Michael Nnaechi (Secretary Planning & Legislative Budget); Dauda Ibrahim El-Ladan (Clerk Senate) and Adebanjo Anthony Ademola (Secretary, Special Duties).
The Coalition of Civil Society Organisations for Justice and Equity (CCSO-JE) which made the allegations at a news conference in Abuja said it had been following the case since October 2021.
The convener of CCSO-JE, Mr Olayemi Sucess, said it was raising the alarm based on petitions by some sister NGOs to the political leadership of the National Assembly, Chairman and the commissioners at the National Assembly Service Commission, as well as the Clerk to the National Assembly.
Success told journalists that the National Assembly’s leadership was allegedly shielding the affected officers from prosecution.
He said, “In an earlier petition dated November 16, 2021, by Musalaha Law and Associates, the leadership of the legislative arm of government were accused of failing to apply the right procedure in suspending the alleged officers as soon as they were charged before the Federal High Court, Abuja on 21st October 2021.
“We considered this as a flagrant abuse of office by the National Assembly Service Commission for condoning naked and gross misconduct by their ‘ favourite officers.
“This is nothing but tantamount to aiding and abetting in the act of corruption; criminal forgery; and falsification of official records in the National Assembly of the Federation.
“We argued that if the National Assembly could fold its arms and fail to send the accused individuals who falsified and forged official records to where they belong, it is a dent to the anti-corruption toga of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
“A further report was written by the National Assembly as requested by the Nigeria Police dated November 22, 2020, issuing a Certified True Copy.
“Having received the CTC as mentioned above, the State Intelligence Bureau of the Nigeria Police wrote another letter requesting the release of the above-named persons (staff), dated the 27th November 2020.
“The CTC was acknowledged and received by the office of the Clerk of National Assembly.
“However, to the surprise and consternation of the entire staff of the National Assembly and the world at large, nothing was ever heard of this matter again, a situation which has emboldened the above-named persons (Staff) and which may unquestionably set a bad precedence for all and sundry.
“In the petition, it categorically stated that it is both illegal and unconstitutional to falsify record and or commit forgery by not just any public officer but more so in the lawmaking arm of the society.
“If allowed unchecked this will further entrench the rumours that Nigeria is fast becoming the capital of corruption in the world.”
However, when contacted on Monday, the National Assembly Director of Information, Rawlings Agada, said he had no specific information on the matter.
He said, “I don’t have any specific information that can elicit a reaction from me on the matter.
“However, if such a case exists, the National Assembly management has an internal mechanism to deal with it.”