Disquiet in Kwara over extension of Assembly clerk’s tenure | Dailytrust

Disquiet in Kwara over extension of Assembly clerk’s tenure

The Kwara State House of Assembly is under the spotlight following the elongation of the tenure of the clerk, Hajia Halimah Jummai Kperogi.

Kperogi’s tenure was extended by the lawmakers on March 30, 2022 following a motion moved by the House Leader, Magaji Abubakar Olawoyin and seconded by Hon. Ganiyu Folabi Salahu.

Kperogi, who formally retired on September 29, last year, was reappointed on contract with initial period of six months by the Kwara State House of Assembly Service Commission before the latest approval for one year, effective from March 30, 2022.

However, the decision has generated serious disquiet in the state as civil society organisations and other stakeholders calling for its immediate reversal.

The Elites Network for Sustainable Development (ENetSuD) handed the legislature a 14 days ultimatum to reverse the reappointment, threatening legal action.

In a letter addressed to the Speaker of the House, Engr Yakubu Danladi Salihu, signed by its coordinator, Abdullateef Alagbonsi (Phd), a copy which was sighted by Daily Trust, the group said the action of the house was at variance with Section 9(1) and 9(2) of the Kwara State House of Assembly Service Commission Law 2018 (as amended).

While nothing that paragraphs 02401 to 02411 of the Kwara Public Service Rules does not favour the extension, the body said, “only a director on Grade Level 17 and above can be appointed as against a retiree or contract staff.”

ENetSuD further stated that sections 11 and 13 of the same law allow the commission to deploy qualified persons from other parts of the civil service within the state either on secondment or transfer of service to the commission.”

Similarly, the Civil Rights and Development Resource Centre (CIRDEV) described the resolution of the lawmakers on both the initial and the present ratifications of the appointments as “primarily illegal”.

In a statement jointly signed by its Executive Director, Barr Luqman Shaffii, and Head, Conflict Management Directorate, it advised the House to contact the state Ministry of Justice for necessary legal advice and do the needful as a matter of urgency “or be ready to face necessary legal action,”

The coordinator of Kwara Must Change, a pro-democracy group, Comrade Yusuf Olatunji, said the act was against the general principle of the civil service rules.

Contacted, the spokesman of the House, Hon Awolola Ayokunle and chairman of the Assembly Commission, Alhaji Femi Yusuf, said an official response will be released on the matter soon.

However, a senior staff of the legislature who spoke in confidence said the action was procedurally justified.

“The House may be morally wrong but absolutely in line procedurally as an independent arm with its own internal rules that govern its activities.

“Constitutionally, the House determines who to work with as long as they follow the procedure of producing such person which has been done anyway,” the official added.

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