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Unpaid allowances: NASS Aides beg Buhari to intervene

Legislative Aides of the 8th National Assembly have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene in the non-payment of their allowances over the months.

In an open letter to the President, the aides under the aegis of Concerned Legislative Aides of the 8th National Assembly, begged Buhari to direct a probe into the non payment of their allowance.

According to a statement jointly signed by Barr. Chinedu Nwokeukwu and Mr Sunday Chuba the aides particularly urged that SunTrust Bank, the micro-finance institution used in their payment be thoroughly probed.

They also sought that the Clerk to the National Assembly, Mohammed Sani Omolori be made to proceed on his pre-retirement leave which he was already due for.

The aides in a petition earlier sent to the Presidency, security agencies and the anti-graft agencies, alleged among other things that the leadership of the 8th National Assembly had connived to divert funds meant for their payment.

In its new open letter to the President, the group pleaded that the Buhari should direct the anti-graft agencies to look into the allegations of financial misappropriation contained in the petition.

According to the statement, the petition was duly copied to the Office of the President, and also to the Vice President, Inspector General of Police, Director General of State Security Service and Chairman of Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC).

The statement said it is their utmost belief that there should be no sacred cows in the act of ridding the country of the evil tentacles of corruption in its ramification.

“We are reliably informed, Your Excellency that the Presiding Officers of the 8th National Assembly are using the Clerk of the National Assembly, Alhaji Sani Omolori to cover the alleged diversion of our entitlements and allowances.

“The said clerk should have proceeded on pre-retirement leave on November, 2018 having attained the mandatory 60 years and 35 years of service.

“He was allegedly served a letter to that effect by the Office of Head of Service of the Federation.”

“There is a scheme to add an additional five years to the tenure of the clerk by adding a provision to the Report of the Conference Committee on the Reviewed Conditions of Service in the National Assembly Service before both chambers of the 8th National Assembly,” the group alleged.

It said such scheme if successful will extend the retirement age of staff of National Assembly to either 65 years of age or 40 years of service.

The statement further alleged that the scheming is geared towards covering the diversion of their entitlements.

The aides therefore called on President Buhari as the father of the nation to look into complaints dispassionately and ensure that the EFCC conduct an excellent investigation.

“It may also interest Your Excellency to note the use of SunTrust Bank – a bank with only two branches in Nigeria and the unbridled employment of Special Assistants by Presiding Officers are tools used in siphoning our legitimate allowances and entitlements.

“The shareholding of SunTrust Bank should be thoroughly investigated while the exact numbers of special advisers, special assistants and legislative aides of the presiding officers of the 8th National Assembly examined for possibility of fake and ghost names,” the statement said.

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