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C’River Assembly calls for dissolution of Civil Service Commission

By Itam Offor

The Cross River State House of Assembly has recommended the dissolution of the appointment of the Chairman and Members of the Civil Service Commission and has asked the State Governor, Senator Bassey Otu to appoint only qualified people with the requisite knowledge and experience in public/civil service into the Commission.

The House, however, wants the Governor to consider Commissioners 1 and 3, namely, Mr Martin Usibe and Chief Ita Onoyom Ette respectively for reappointment into the Commission having been absolved of any breach of conduct.

The House also recommended that the next Commission, when reconstituted, should continue with the promotions of Civil Servants as earlier approved by the State Governor based on the extant protocols of promotion to avoid disrepute to the Commission.

The House made the above-stated recommendations following the report of its Committee on Judiciary, Public Service Matters, Public Petitions and Conflict Resolution on the alleged misconduct levelled against the Commission.

Presenting the report, the Chairman of the Committee and Member representing Abi State Constituency, Rt. Hon. Davies Etta, informed the Assembly that although the Commission had the Governor’s approval to carry out promotions, it did not follow the required procedures in some cases as in the case of an IRS staff who was promoted from Grade Level 5 to 15 after only five years in service.

The Lawmaker added that the Commission failed in its advisory role as a body that is supposed to uphold the Public/Civil Service Rules.

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The Committee commended Commissioner 3, Chief Ette, for exposing the infractions by the Commission to the Governor, SSG and the Head of Service and also suggested the reappointment of Commissioner 1, Mr Martin Osibe who was appointed after the infractions were carried out.

The Lawmakers expressed disappointment over the conduct of the Civil Service Commission and recommended that it be dissolved in line with the provisions of section 201(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999(as amended) which empowers the Governor to dissolve and reconstitute any Commission whenever there is a breach of conduct.

In his remarks, the Speaker of the Assembly, Rt. Hon. Elvert Ayambem, expressed satisfaction with the report which he described as accurate. He stressed that all Cross Riverians have the right to be treated fairly and in accordance with the Law adding that the Commission had acted wrongly in the discharge of its duty.

Ayambem called on the Members to vote for the adoption of the recommendations of the Committee as the decision of the Assembly. At the end of voting, all eighteen Members present voted for the adoption of the report as the resolution of the Assembly.

You may recall that on Wednesday 13th March 2024, the Assembly received a letter from Governor Otu seeking the power of the House to remove the Chairman and Members of the Civil Service Commission.

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