No fewer than 71 accounting Officers, employees of the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF), who were recently disengaged by the Federal Civil Service Commission (FCSC), have petitioned, Alhaji Ahmed Idris, Accountant General of the Federation, (AGF) and Joan Ayo, Chairman the FCSC, over what they termed unjust termination of appointment.
They alleged for no just cause, the appointment letters they were offered in 2014 after undergoing interview, screening and documentation, were suddenly withdrawn in 2016 without cogent reasons.
They said their engagement followed laid down civil service rules and regulations and therefore at loss of what led to the termination of their appointment after waiting for two years to be posted to offices across the country.
They also alleged that while some who have persons in government were retained and posted, they were shown the exit door for reasons unknown to them.
They asserted that the way they were treated was “malicious, insensitive and height of injustice”
According to them, “this petition relates to issues which involve sizeable number of Nigerians whose careers are being put at stake through malicious actions of the two officers of FCSC and AGF”
The petition reads in part: “We were offered career civil service appointment of the Federal Government through the Federal Civil Service Commission (FCSC) as Accountants on different levels for the office of the Accountant General of the Federation via offer letters issued by the FCSC in 2014 and signed by the Director (Recruitment and Appointment) for Chairman FCSC.
“Both the office of the Head of Service of the Federation and that of the Accountant General were appropriately notified.
“In compliance with the civil service practice, all necessary documentations and medicals on us were concluded by the office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF) at their pace in May 2015 and we were appropriately listed for further postings to place of primary assignment. We were equally given our respective file and staff numbers.
“Since that May 2015, we have been resuming at the office of the Accountant General in fulfillment of the employment contract already in place but the AGF has willfully failed to approve our posting in spite of our everyday presence and request. They kept on appealing to us to have patience and that they are preparing new intake induction programme.
“Curiously, about a week ago, we got the rudest shock that our appointment has been declared irregular and revoked by the Chairman Federal Civil Service Commission. This action is malicious, insensitive and the height of injustice on which we appeal to your good office not to be allowed to stand based on the following:
“The appointment followed due process and Letters of Appointment legally and legitimately issued and signed by the Director (Recruitment and Appointment) of the Federal Civil Service Commission for The Chairman, FCSC.
“The Office of the Accountant General of the Federation wrote to FCSC to confirm the authenticity of the offers which the FCSC confirmed via their Letter References (copy attached).
“The office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation also carried out a verification exercise on each of us during Personnel Data Revalidation Exercise and issued to each of us Clearance Certificate in May 2015.
“The FCSC again re-verified each of us as employees of the Federal Government of Nigeria and issued us with IPPIS validation receipt in 2015. It is therefore, sheer fraud, ineptitude and indeed inhuman for the same Chairman of Federal Civil Service Commission to say their (FCSC) action is irregular and revoke our appointments after being on this course for close to two years.
“Some of our colleagues who are either children of the Directors at the OAGF/FCSC or their close relations have been surreptitiously posted by the AGF.
“Meanwhile, they have their names confirmed by the FCSC with our own at the same time”, the petition alleged.
They therefore prayed that they should be absorbed back to the service and remove the irregularities imposed on their employment by the Chairman of the FCSC.
They further pleaded that the OAGF should intervene and post them accordingly.
“We beseech you to kindly use your good office to intervene on this matter and ensure that we are properly absorbed into the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation.
“Removal of the irregularities suddenly imposed on our employment by the Chairman of the Federal Civil Service Commission.
“Direct the Accountant General of the Federation to approve and release our postings to our respective offices of primary assignment”, they pleaded.
Attached to the petition were some of the verified/authenticated/acknowledged photocopies of correspondences between the Offices of The Accountant General of the Federation and The Federal Civil Service Commission.
They are marked: “reference numbers: FCSC/PS/31/1/522/APP/526 in response to OAGF/TRO/657/1/130,FCSC/PS/31/1/522/APP/649 in response to OAGF/TRO/657/1/139, FCSC/R&A/AV/OAGF/740 in response to OAGF/TRO/657/1/147.
“Content of these letters at various times stated that our appointment letters were duly verified and confirmed to be genuine and authentic”, they stressed.
However, according to the Federal Civil Service Commission, Abuja, they were laid off because their appointments were in irregular and unauthorised.
According to the Head Press and Public Relations, Dr. J. O. Oruche, their appointment were terminated because they were not backed by approved declared vacancies, in which case, government does not have financial proviso for them.
He stated further: “On issue under reference, the Commission has discovered a lot of irregular appointments which are not backed by approved declared vacancies.
“All appointment letters have stipulated validity period of two months within which they must be accepted failing which the offer will lapse.
“Where some were backed by approval declared vacancies, the offers were not accepted within the stipulated time of two months.
“The Commission also observed that some letters were out-rightly faked and some of these faked ones are under instigation.”
He emphasized that all the letters involved were temporary letters of appointment and there is a long process between offer of temporal appointment and gazetting or confirmation, and in between, even regular appointment can be terminated, let alone irregular ones.
At the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, the Director of Administration, in charge of recruitment and related issues, could not be reached for comment, he was said to have travelled out of Abuja, as of the time of going to press.