The Senate Committee on Federal Character and Intergovernment Affairs on Monday quizzed representatives of the Federal Character Commission (FCC) over alleged secret recruitments into some federal agencies.
This is coming few days after the Socio-economic Rights Agenda (SERAP) alleged that principal officers and members of the Nigerian Senate are using their position to get job slots from government agencies.
Chairman of the committee, Senator Danjuma La’ah, asked the Secretary of the FCC, Mohammed Tukur, who led the management team of the commission to the Senate for budget defence, to explain if he was aware of the recruitment.
The senators demanded the FCC explain if due process was followed in the alleged recruitment by the Federal Inland Revenue Service and other agencies.
Tukur, who admitted the FCC is aware of alleged secret recruitment, told the committee that the commission had already launched an investigation into the matter.
He promised to avail the committee the outcome of the investigation as soon as it is concluded.
Speaking to journalists after the session with the Senate committee, Tukur said the matter was already being investigated by his agency.
He said: “Some members of the Senate committee raised the issue of the recruitment going on, particularly the one of an agency, and we said the issue is being addressed. All other issues that were brought to the attention of the commission are actually being addressed.
“Normally before any recruitment can take place, it has to pass through four stages. There must be approval from the office of the Head of Service of the Federation and there must be budgetary approval from the budget office.
“Then you will come to the Federal Character Commission for the Character Balancing Index which will indicate the states that should be prioritised and those that should not be prioritised.
“This is because states that are under-represented in that agency that is recruiting will be addressed. It is after this had been done that you will go back to the Accountant-General who will give you the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System number platform as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“It is not a one agency affair. In some of the agencies, you don’t need to go to the office of the Accountant-General to recruit. We attend to all issues brought before us and we ensure that justice, fairness and equity are reflected in our reports.”
Ripples Nigeria has on Sunday, reported that SERAP, in a pettition dated October 18 to the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offices Commission (ICPC) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), called on the two anti-graft agencies to launch a probe into the allegation that senators were getting jobs through influence peddling.
In the pettition, SERAP called on the ICPC and EFCC to: “jointly carry out a prompt, thorough, transparent and effective investigation into allegations that principal officers and members of the Nigerian Senate are using their official positions to get job slots from government agencies.”
The group further said in the petition: “SERAP urges you to invite the principal officers and members of the Senate and government agencies allegedly involved for interrogation and questioning, and to prosecute them if your investigation indicates relevant and sufficient admissible evidence. This would show your agencies’ willingness to proactively exert your mandates and act as a deterrent against breaches of Nigeria’s constitution, anti-corruption legislation and international standards.”
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