In News by Oluwaseun Samuel on the 30th, September, 2020

Abaribe Kicks As Buhari Nominates Northerner As PENCOM DG

Abaribe Kicks As Buhari Nominates Northerner As PENCOM DG




Senate Minority Chief Enyinnaya Abaribe has rejected the nomination of Aisha Umar (North East) as Director Basic of the Nationwide Pension Fee (PENCOM).


This comes after the President Muhammadu Buhari had in a letter urged the Senate to substantiate the nomination of Oyindasola Oni as Chairman and Aisha Umar the DG of PENCOM Board respectively.


President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, learn the letter on the ground of the Senate throughout plenary.


Abaribe nevertheless raised a degree of order following the studying of the letter by Lawan.


Based on TheNation, the Abia South Senator insisted that the nomination of a candidate from the Northeast to interchange the previous Director-Basic (DG) of PENCOM, Mrs. Chinelo Anohu-Amazu from Southeast was in breach of the Act establishing PENCOM.


He famous the Nationwide Pension Fee Act 2014 supplied that “within the occasion of a emptiness, the President shall appoint alternative from the geo-political zone of the speedy previous member that vacated workplace to finish the remaining tenure.”


He maintained the alternative for Mrs Anohu-Amazu should come from the South East.


Abaribe mentioned: “I recall that the tenure of the incumbent was truncated subsequently, the brand new letter from the President that has now moved the Chairman of the Fee to a different zone will not be right as a result of it’s in opposition to the legislation establishing the Nationwide Pension Fee.

“Earlier than you ship it to the suitable committee tomorrow, I want to draw the eye of the committee to it.”


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Lawan, in his response, mentioned: “That’s for me to interpret as a result of I interpret the legal guidelines right here.

“If there’s any petition to that impact it ought to be despatched to the committee.”


However an skilled and senior official within the pension trade countered Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe’s submission, stating that the nomination is again up by the PRA 2014.


The skilled, who spoke on situation of anonymity, mentioned that in furtherance to Part 20 (1) and Part 21 (1) and (2) of the Act, Part 106(four) of the PRA 2014 offers that however part 19(2)(a) and 26(2)&(four) of the Act, the place a Board of the Fee is but to be reconstituted after six months of the dissolution of the final Board, the President of the Federal Republic could appoint match and correct individuals with pension cognate expertise to represent the Board on the first occasion, topic to affirmation by the Senate.


Additionally, Part 171 of the Structure of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) vests in Mr. President the ability to nominate individuals to carry or act in sure places of work and to take away such individuals.


These places of work embody heads of all Federal Authorities extra-ministerial departments, howsoever designated.


He acknowledged that the Act didn’t outline what constitutes ‘emptiness’, a scenario that created ambiguity as to the precise event when Part 21(2) of the PRA 2014 turns into operational.


He mentioned: “Nevertheless, it should seem from the context that the subsection contemplates the ceazation of membership of the board by any of the eventualities listed in Part 21(1)(a) -(h) of the PRA 2014, which embody resignation, demise, chapter, conviction of a felony, elimination by the President, amongst others. The argument subsequently is that Mrs. Amazu’s alternative as DG of PenCom should come from the Southeast zone to finish right here remaining time period. Nevertheless, opposite to this submission, a cautious evaluation of the related provisions of the PRA 2014 would result in the next conclusions:

“A studying of each subsections (1) & (2) of Part 21 of the PRA 2014 signifies that they persistently use singular phrases resembling ‘a member’; ‘a emptiness’; ‘a alternative’; ‘speedy previous member that vacated workplace’ and many others. Accordingly, it’s submitted that the proper interpretation of Part 21(2) of the PRA 2014 is to carry that it addresses solely circumstances of occasional vacancies created by the exit of particular person members of the board of PenCom as enumerated in subsection (1) of the identical part, fairly than the place the entire board is dissolved or all govt administration are eliminated by Mr. President. Part 21(2) of the PRA 2014 seeks to make sure compliance with the supply of Part 19(four) of the Act, which requires that always, the Chairman, Director Basic and 4 Commissioners of PenCom shall every signify every of the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria.

“There had been a precedent which illustrates the appliance of an identical provision underneath the defunct PRA 2004. Thus, in 2006 when the then President Obasanjo eliminated solely the Chairman of PenCom, Mr. Fola Adeola, who was from the Southwest, his alternative got here from the Southwest when late Chief Wole Adeosun was appointed to finish the time period began by Mr. Fola Adeola. The availability of Part 21(2) of the PRA 2014 applies not solely to the workplace of the Director Basic but in addition the Chairman and different 4 Commissioners of PenCom the place the respective people vacate workplace leaving others in workplace.

“With out prejudice to the foregoing submissions, we wish to draw consideration to the overarching provision of S. 171(2) of the 1999 Structure of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), which supplies the president unfettered powers to nominate or take away head of any Federal Authorities extra-ministerial division, howsoever referred to as. This contains appointments to the workplace of the Director Basic of PenCom. This constitutional energy can’t be eroded by any Act of parliament within the mild of the supply of S. 1(three) of the Structure which offers that “if another legislation is inconsistent with the supply of this Structure, this Structure shall prevail, and that different legislation shall to the extent of the inconsistency be void”, he added.

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