If things go according to plans being hatched by the presidency, chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Prof. Attahiru Jega may not be in charge to conduct the forthcoming general elections.
According to the All Progressives Congress (APC) Senators, there is a plot to send Jega on compulsory retirement leave.
They raised the alarm Thursday claiming, that they received information from a credible source to the effect that the INEC chairman would be given a letter by the office of Head of Service, HOS, directing him to proceed on retirement leave next week.
The opposition Senators said that the procedure in which civil servants and political appointees follow for their retirement was different from that of career officers, adding that there was constitutional provision in which such career officers are appointed and removed.
The Senators gave instance with a letter from the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation where it was stated that an appointee with a definite term of years has nothing to do with pre-retirement leave, and that such retirement leave was only applicable to core officers who run their Civil Service to retirement of 35 years of service or 60 years of age and not for a definite tenure.”
Leader of the APC Senators and Minority Leader of the senate, Senator George Akume flanked by other opposition Senators in a press briefing said that such alleged sinister move to force the INEC boss out of office was because of the forthcoming elections and said that such was capable of plunging the country into anarchy.
He said, “Honestly, we said it before; this is the road to Golgotha, road to Armageddon. This people want to destroy this country completely. Today this country is broke and it is not because of Jega. People who are responsible are there and they are friends of government. Nigerians want peace not pieces.”
APC Senators claimed that Prof. Jega was ready to conduct the presidential and National Assembly elections on February 14 only to be forced to put the elections off as a result of the pressure and the letter from the National Security Adviser, NSA, on security challenges especially in the North East.
They said, “Today we want to say that only dishonest politicians fear (Prof. Attahiru) Jega as the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). We have received information from very, very informed and credible source that next week the Chairman of the INEC will be served a letter by the office of the Head of Civil Service directing him to proceed on terminal leave.
“Whether the letter comes from the Head of Service or the Secretary to the Federal Government does not make sense. What we are saying is even if you go by the terms of the head of the civil service of the 11th of August, 2010, with reference no: HCSF/CMO/1772/T1/11 it is not applicable whatsoever to the chairman of INEC.
“This circular was talking about clarification on pre-retirement leave. Pre-retirement leave is applicable to tenured officers, careers civil servants and you are bound to disengage when you get to 35 years in service or when you get to 60 years of age,” he said.
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