A Concern Nigerian Citizen, Mr. Audu Karimu has for the second time petitioned the Head of Service of the Federation, over alleged violation of Public Service Rules and the Sugar Regulation Council, (Amendment) Act, 2015 against former Executive Secretary of the National Sugar Development Council, (NSDC), Mr Zaccheus Adedeji and former Director of Finance and Administration, Mr Auwal Abubakar Shira.
In a letter of Reminder, addressed to Head of Civil Service of the Federation, by Mr. Abdu Karimu, through his counsel, Barrister Ayuba Abang of the Legal Option Solicitor, (a law firm) dated 18th Sept. 2023, requested Head of Service to intervene and cause Auwal Abubakar Shira to immediately vacate his position of Director of Finance and Administration of the NSDC, since his retirement date became effective on 11th Sept. 2021.
Mr. Karimu further urged prayed the Head of Civil to cause Auwal Abubakar Shira to immediately return all emoluments and allowances paid to him from 12th Sept. 2021 since his retirement date became effective on 11th Sept 2021.
Similarly urged the Head of Service to cause Shira to immediately return all NSDC property which ought to have handed over and was not entitled to be in his possession from 12th Sept. 2021 after his retirement date.
“That you consider and cause appropriate disciplinary action against the Executive Secretary for Violating the PSR” He urged.
Mr. Karimu further alleged that on the other hand, Mr. Auwal Abubakar Shira, who held the position of Director of Finance and Administration (DFA) at the NSDC in 2021, was due to retire on 11th September 2021.
He revealed that the former Executive Secretary extended his service years without lawful authority, granting a one-year extension from 11th September 2021 to 10th September 2022.
He alleged that, “Upon this extension’s expiration, the former Executive Secretary further extended the retirement date to 10th September 2023.
While shedding light on the facts of the petition, the petitioner however said, Mr. Zaccheus Adedeji assumed the role of Executive Secretary of the NSDC on or around 10th March 2021.
He further said on 15th June 2023, he was appointed Senior Special Adviser to the President on Revenue, necessitating his resignation from the NSDC position due to the prohibition of holding two public offices concurrently.
” Mr. Audu Karimu, a Nigerian patriot, and client called the attention of Head of Civil Service regarding the previous petition written and the allegations against the actions of Mr. Zaccheus Adedeji, the former Executive Secretary of the NSDC, and Mr. Auwal Abubakar Shira, who, despite reaching his retirement date on 11th September 2021, continues to serve in the capacity of Director Finance and Administration in the Council.”
He explained, the NSDC, established through Decree No. 88, later NSDC (Amendment) Act, 2015, is subject to the Public Service Rules (PSR) in the administration of its personnel.
“Under these rules, staff members are to retire upon reaching thirty-five (35) years in service or sixty (60) years of age, whichever comes earlier.
“The Executive Secretary of the Council does not possess the authority to lawfully extend the service years of any staff unless specifically authorized by the NSDC Act and the PSR, a condition not met in this instance.”
Karimu Subsequently, noted that on 15th September 2023, he was appointed Acting Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).
He lamented that despite these extensions, the DFA has remained in office without further extension since the second extension unlawfully granted to him expired on 11th September 2023.
He, Furthermore, alleged that the former Executive Secretary, who was supposed to vacate his position on 15th June 2023 when appointed as SA to the President, is allegedly involved in planning the further unlawful extension of the DFA’s service years or his appointment as the new Executive Secretary.
The petitioner alleged that both the former Executive Secretary and the DFA are scheming to further extend the DFA’s tenure in blatant violation of the NSDC Act and the PSR, which dictate the tenure of the Council’s staff.
He added that, “they are doing so without obtaining relevant approvals from the appropriate authorities. This conduct not only contravenes established rules and regulations but also hindered the career growth and development of other qualified Council staff.
He emphasized that in addition to the alleged illegal extension of the Director’s tenure, both individuals are accused of failing to comply with basic Public Service Rules regulating the re-engagement of retired public servants through contract,
“Particularly, on grade levels below that on which they retired. If the Council deemed it necessary to re-engage the retired DFA on contract, it should have been in compliance with these rules, engaging him as a Deputy Director, not in the manner employed, extending his service for twenty-four (24) months by the former Executive Secretary.” He alleged.