A civil society organisation, Elites Network for Sustainable Development (ENetSuD) has asked the Speaker of the Kwara State House of Assembly (KWHA), Yakubu Salihu-Danladi, to reverse the unlawful contract appointment of Hajia Jummai Kperogi as Clerk of the House and the continued extension of her tenure following her retirement from office.
ENetSuD, in a letter written and signed by ENetSuD’s Director of Legal Services, Lukman Raji described the contract appointment of Hajia Kperogi as unlawful.
The letter was copied to the Attorney-General of Kwara State and the Chairman of the House of Assembly Service Commission.
The group noted, “Our attention has been drawn to the recent resolution of the House in its sitting of Wednesday March 30, wherein they approved the unlawful contract appointment of Hajia Kperogi as the Clerk to the Kwara State House of Assembly for another period of one (1) year under your leadership.
“This is after your initial approval of her contract appointment and tenure extension as a Clerk to the House for an initial period of six (6) months that ended on March 29, making your unlawful approval for her continued stay in office to be for a period of one and half years.
“We wish to state categorically that the contract appointment of HAJIA HALIMAT JUMMAI KPEROGI or any other person as the Clerk to the House is ultra vires of the House and as such, tantamount to committing illegality ab initio.
“By Section 9 of the Kwara State House of Assembly Service Commission Law 2018 (as amended), only a Director who is on Grade Level 17 and above can be appointed as Clerk to the House, not a Retiree or Contract Staff.”
According to the group, the House has the power to make resolution, not to ratify contract appointments, adding that the House ought to seek secondment or transfer of a suitably qualified person from Kwara Civil Service if there was no qualified person within the KWHA.
It noted, “It is also very clear from section 9(2) of the law that the House of Assembly is empowered to appoint Clerk to the House by resolution, not ratifying contract appointment of somebody as Clerk against the unambiguous provision of section 9(1) of the Law.
“We wish to also state that assuming without conceding that there is no Director or any other person that can be appointed as substantive Clerk to the House at the retirement of the former substantive Clerk to the House in compliance with section 9 (1) of the Law, sections 11 and 13 of the same Law allows the commission to deploy qualified person from other part of civil service within the state either on secondment or transfer of service to the commission.”
The anti-corruption body further said Hajia Jumai Kperogi was not entitled to be appointed as contract staff having retired from the service.
“According to the rules for contract appointments as contained in paragraphs 02401 to 02411 of the Kwara State Government Public Service Rules, HAJIA HALIMAT JUMMAI KPEROGI did not fall into the category of somebody who can benefit from such.
“This is because the position of the Clerk to the House is not a special post where any other qualified hand cannot be seen in the Kwara State House of Assembly Service Commission or the Kwara State Civil Service.”
ENetSuD told the House that it should not violate the laws it is making. “Section 9 (1) of the Kwara State House of Assembly Service Commission Law 2018 (as amended) is clear on who can be appointed as Clerk to the House by the use of mandatory word “SHALL”.
“We urge you to put the round peg in the round hole by complying with the clear provisions of your law.” the letter said.
The group however informed the Speaker that the organisation would not hesitate to take other necessary actions and steps allowed by the law if the House failed to correct the error within 14 days from the service of the letter on the House.