…Indicts HoS

Mrs Jamila ShuaraPresident Muhammadu Buhari exceeded his constitutional authority by extending the tenure for Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mrs Jamila Shuara, the House of Representatives Committee on Basic Education said Thursday.

A unanimous committee of the House flatly rejected the Buhari administration’s rationale for the extension after her tenure has expired.

They declared that President Buhari had no such powers under Section 171 and other existing laws to extend the tenure of permanent secretary whose tenure had expired by time or age.

Recall that Mrs Shuara’s tenure which was elongated by one year in 2015 after service, was again extended in 2016 via a letter purportedly written by the Presidency. The committee members sharply criticized the Head of Service, HoS, Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita, after listening to her weak defence.

The HoS, Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita has faced criticism from many in the service for her lack of clarity and blatant violations of rules.

The committee asked her to read verbatim content of Section 171 which she did and they reiterated the fact that the President had no such powers. Chairman of the committee, Mohammed Zakari, was mandated to read out the committee’s recommendations. The HoS was given four weeks to deliver all relevant documents to the committee’s secretariat.

Oyo-Ita was directed to invoke the relevant rules to recover all the emoluments paid to Mrs Jamila Shuara for the period of the extension, and asked government to ensure that civil service rules and procedures were strictly followed. The lawmakers also directed the HoS to ensure compliance to this subject matter and report to the House in four weeks.

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Per Second News gathered that there is high indiscipline level currently in the civil service because of penchant to disobey rules.

Shu’ara, formerly permanent secretary in the Fed. Min of Petroleum Resources is 61 years old and by Public Service Rules should have retired from service in February 2016.

Under the existing provisions, an officer retires from service after serving for 35 years or attaining the age of 60 years, whichever comes first.

Her decision to remain in office beyond her retirement date has angered not a few senior officials at the station, the Federal Ministry of education and the presidency, who accused the president, Minister of Education Adamu Adamu, and the HoS of encouraging the perm sec to sit tight in office.

But when contacted by Per Second News recently, a close associate said that she had broken no law by remaining in office beyond her retirement date.

“ Her formal career as a civil servant has expired,” he said. “ But, she is serving a political appointment as perm sec now.”

Source: Per Second News