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KWHA Clerk: CSO Writes Speaker to Reverse Unlawful Appointment

The Elites Network for Sustainable Development (ENetSuD), an anti-corruption Civil Society Organisation (CSO) has written a letter to the Speaker of the Kwara State House of Assembly (KWHA), Rt. Hon. Yakubu Salihu-Danladi, over the unlawful contract appointment of Hajia Jummai Kperogi and the continued extension of her tenure as Clerk to the House following her retirement from office.

ENetSuD is reputed for its promotion of good governance, transparency and accountability in Kwara.

The letter was also copied to the Attorney General of Kwara and the Chairman of the House of Assembly Service Commission.

In a letter written and signed by ENetSuD’s Director of Legal Services , Barr. Lukman Raji, described the contract appointment of Hajia Kperogi as unlawful.

“Our attention has been drawn to the recent resolution of the House in its sitting of Wed. 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 abinitio.

“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.” the letter said.

ENetSuD added that the Power of the House is to make resolution, not to ratify contract appointment, and that the House ought to seek secondment or transfer of a suitably qualified person from Kwara Civil Service assuming there is no qualified person within the KWHA.

“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 that Hajia Jumai Kperogi is 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”.

The Civil Society Organisation maintained that the house making law should not be seen violating the law made by it as in this case.

“We urge you to put the round peg in the round hole by complying with the clear provisions of your law.” the letter said.

ENetSuD concluded by telling the Speaker that the organisation will not hesitate to take other necessary actions/steps allowed by the law if the House fail to right the wrong within 14 days from the service of this letter on the House.

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