NGO drags Senate’s clerk, six others to court over ‘breach’ of retirement rule

Clerk of the Senate, Barrister Dauda Ibrahim El – Ladan, and two other top management staff of the National Assembly have been accused of alleged forgery and falsification of official records with the sole aim of elongating their stay in the civil service.

In the petition filed by the Crime Free and Peace Initiative, an NGO, the trio of El –Ladan along with the National Assembly Director, Legislative Scrutiny, Adebanjo Ademola Anthony, and a secretary, Okpara Micheal Nnachi, were alleged to have falsified their ages, as established by an investigation carried out by an arm of the security agency.

The petition written to the National Assembly Service Commission (NASC) chairman, Ahmed Kadi Amshi, with other relevant authorities copied,  described the action of the trio as “the acts of dishonesty involving conspiracy, forgery and criminal falsification of service records”, saying that such deliberate act is a slur on the integrity of the service and Nigeria as a country.

The petitioners through their attorney, Wahab Olatoye Esq, in the petition dated 27th October 2021, said they were “seriously irked by the conduct of some misguided staff who are hell bent on abusing Public Service Rules and the Conditions of Service in the National Assembly”.

Entitled: “Complaint of wilful Falsification of records, latent illegality, abuse of powers and forgery by Okpara Michael Nnachi, Dauda Ibrahim El- Ladan and Adebanjo Ademola Anthony”, the complainant said the failure to bring the alleged culprits to book following an investigation conducted by the police and the submission of the findings to the leadership of the NASS and the NASC, may have emboldened them to further trampled on the system.

The petition raised among others such claims as: “That on the 23rd November, 2020 a petition was written to your esteemed office against acts of falsifying of records as carried out by the above named persons (Staff).

“That the Nigeria Police whilst investigating this letter, sent a signal letter requesting a formal report.

“That the National Assembly sent their report dated 14th October, 2020, affirming the allegations raised against the trio of the above named persons (Staff) for falsification of records.

“That also attached to the report are the Personal Data pages of the above named persons (Staff) evidencing the actual falsification.

“That a further report was written by the National Assembly to the Nigeria Police dated 26th November, 2020 issuing a Certified True Copy of the same report as requested by the Nigeria Police.

“That having received the CTC as mentioned above, the State Intelligence Bureau (SIB) of the Nigeria Police wrote another letter requesting the release of the above named persons (Staff), dated the 27th November, 2020 acknowledged and received by the office of the Clerk of the National Assembly on 21st December, 2020,” and attached exhibits marked 1-6 to confirm its claims.

Further to this, the NGO said: “We hereby state categorically that it is both illegal and unconstitutional to falsify record and or commit forgery by not just any public officer but more so in the highest law making arm of the society…if allowed unchecked this will further entrench the rumours that Nigeria is fast becoming the capital of corruption in the world”.

The NGO informed the NASC chairman that it is seeking the following reliefs: “A directive restraining the above named persons from continuous occupation on the strength of police report dated 14th October 2020, indicting them of falsification of records, a full blown prosecution of the above named persons to serve as deterrent to other staff of the National Assembly”, at the Federal High Court in Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/1269/21 between Crime Free and Peace Initiative vs Okpara Michael Nnachi and six others.

Though Blueprint newspaper sought the reaction of the Senate’s Clerk, Dauda El-Ladan, on the allegation and petition, he opted to remain silent by dropping the call and declining to respond to subsequent efforts made to reach him on phone.

Similarly, all efforts to get the NASC chairman, Ahmed Amshi, President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, to comment on the petition and litigation through their spokespersons, proved abortive as their aides said ” since the matter is in court, it will be subjudice to comment on it.”

El–Ladan, from the records available, joined the civil service on the 9th of April 1992, and was born on 6th of October, 196.

By  virtue of age- 60 years, according to service rule or attainment of 35 years in service, he was due to exit the service last month(October).