House of Reps summons perm sec over extension of service

by Azeez Adeniyi

The House of Representatives has again summoned the Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Education, Dr. Jamila Shu’ara over extension of service.

Shu’ara, 61, was deemed to have retired from the civil service in February, 2016.

However, she had claimed during a 2017 budget defence session with the House that President Muhammadu Buhari extended her tenure by one year.

The lower chamber in the letter of invitation also threatened to issue a warrant for her arrest if she fails to appear before it on Tuesday.

Shu’ara had refused to honour the House of Representatives summons 3 times in a row.

The new summon signed by Zakari Mohammed read in part, “This is sequel to your persistent refusal to honour the committee’s invitation to appear and furnish it with relevant documents.

“Take note that if you fail, neglect or refuse to heed this simple instruction, the committee will have no other option but to issue the necessary warrant to secure your presence.”

The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu had written the Representatives last week, stating that the President had, ‘in principle’, granted Shu’ara a second tenure extension from February 2017.

The minister’s letter to the lower chamber read, “I also wish to inform you that His Excellency, Mr. President, has, in principle, already approved the extension of the tenure of Dr. Jamila Shu’ara as Federal Permanent Secretary for a period of one year with effect from 17th February, 2017.

“I have duly informed the Chief of Staff to the President of this development, and even though I have not seen his directive to the Head of Service, he has shown me her response, which in summary, is to say that the Head of Service is yet to convey approval to the officer concerned.

“Consequently, Dr. Shu’ara has, in the interim, handed off the functions of the office until formal conveyance…”

The committee is however insisting on seeing the evidence of the presidential approval.

Mohammed explained, “Our issue is that we have to be on the side of the law. The civil service has its rules of engagement.

“But, if you are now saying that Mr. President gave you a special recognition, at least, there must be some proof.

“You didn’t just start continuing in office after you were supposed to have retired. A letter must have conveyed the tenure extension to you.

“It is that presidential approval that the committee has been asking her to produce, nothing more.”

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