Dissolve LGSC Board, Others, RVHA Tells Wike

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The Rivers State House of Assembly yesterday recommended the dissolution of the Local Government Service Commission and Rivers State House of Assembly Service Commission even as the Local Government Service Commission shunned the lawmakers’ invitation to appear before it to defend allegations of abuse of due process in recruitment and promotion of staff.
The Assembly took the decision alleging that the two Commissions’ boards were not capable of administering the offices.
They alleged that the two commissions were involved in official misconduct, illegal employment and rapid promotion of some favoured staff.
The lawmakers had in their previous sitting hinted the Chairman and members of the Commission to appear before them yesterday, but were shocked to realise that the members of the Local Government Service Commission did not honour the invitation.
While deliberating on the issue, the Leader of the House, Hon. Martins Amaewhule said it was obvious that members of the Commission have shown serious act of negligence in their action.
He said their action in not honouring the invitation amounted to misconduct, adding that they conducted their activities contrary to the oath of office they swore to.
According to him, “a situation where the commission will begin to employ staff outside known law without following due process is unacceptable.
“The Commission employed and promoted the same person within two years to five grade levels. It is not acceptable and the House should do something about it”, he said.
He disclosed that the petition shows that the commission embarked on illegal transfer, employment, promotion and withholding of facts.
Amaewhule said it was clear that the board lacked the capacity to administer the commission and has become a tool of victimisation.
“Civil servants, local government staff were victimised, demoted and transferred illegally without following due process.
We will not fold our hands and refuse to take decisions because they were not here. If we do that, then we are not doing justice to the people we are representing”, he said.
Members who spoke on the issue include, Hon. Jones Ogbonda representing Port Harcourt 1 and Hon. Farah Dagogo. They suggested that the House should issue warrant of arrest to members of the Commission to appear before it.
Hon. Ogbonda, in his contribution, expressed sadness that the commission, which was set up by law and appeared on the floor of the chamber for confirmation could ignore the same House by choosing not to honour her invitation.
According to him, “It beats my imagination that members of a commission set up by law and that appeared before the floor for confirmation could slight the same House by choosing not to honour the invitation of the House”.
The lawmaker noted that the House has done what it ought to do by extending invitation to members of the commission, stressing that fair hearing does not mean that one must be heard, but that opportunity was given to be heard.
He, however, noted that under section 129 of the 1999 Constitution as amended, the House has powers to issue warrant of arrest but will not plead for that now, as he urged other members to support the dissolution of the commission’s board.
On its part, the House said it was obvious that the Commission engaged in illegal recruitment of staff and irregular promotion of staff.
Hon. Awaewhule noted that a junior staff was promoted two times in a year ahead of his superiors.
“It is obvious that members of the commission conducted themselves in a manner that does not befit them to continue to remain in office”.
While giving his ruling, the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Ikuinyi Ibani said that it was obvious that the House’s view was that the commission be dissolved.
Meanwhile, the Rivers House of Assembly, on Wednesday, screened and approved nominees for the state’s Civil Service Commission, Judicial Service Commission and State Independent Electoral Commission.
The Speaker of the House, Mr Ikuinyi Ibani, made this known at the plenary of the House in Port Harcourt.
Ibani said that the names of the nominees, as submitted by Governor Nyesom Wike, were screened and found to be qualified and experienced to handle the affairs of the state.
“The candidates are experienced through their curriculum vitae and their past records of service. They should be approved as members of the commissions.
“We have heard from their answers to various questions asked  them by this House and we believe that they will serve the interest of the state and not their own interest if appointed.’’
Hon. Martins Amaewhule (PDP- Obio/Akpor Constituency 1), supported the approval of the nominees, saying that those nominated for the Judicial Service Commission were qualified and experienced to serve.
Amaewhule said that the candidates screened to serve the state should know that they were nominated to stand for justice.
He also said that they would be removed if they derailed from their assignments.
Hon. Uwaji Nathaniel (PDP- Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Constituency 11), said that the nominees for the State Electoral Commission were not of questionable character and should be approved by the House to serve the state.
The House unanimously approved all the nominees for the various commissions.
The nominees for the State Judicial Service Commission are Prof. Nsirim Nduka, Mr Osima Ginah, Mrs Assa Nwinia and Mr Friday Abigo.
The nominees for the State Civil Service Commission are Chief Oris Onyiri, Chief Mike Elechi, Mr Godspower Nwogu, Mr Tony Philmore and Mrs Sotonye Fulton.
Those for the State Independent Electoral Commission are Dr Chimaroke Mgbah, Mr Kombo Johnson, Dr. Ebirien Fubara, Dr A. Nwaido and Retired Justice U.I Uriri.