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Senior lawyers chide FG for placing parastatals under acting chief executives

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Ananaba (SAN)

Two senior advocates of Nigeria, Paul Ananaba and Norrison Quakers, have decried the idea of placing many federal government parastatals under the headship of acting Chief Executives, saying its counterproductive, and that the development is overheating the polity unnecessarily.

However, Ananaba said this depends on the parastatal, as some offices certainly require being under acting capacity sometimes, according to the civil service rule.“But if such individual is not confirmed within stipulated time, then he/she is out. The important point here is that someone in acting capacity can be removed anytime, unlike when you are a substantive holder of an office. There are constitutional and legal provisions with which the person can be removed.

“With acting capacity, the holder is unable to carry out connected work because he does not know when he is leaving. This is not the case for a substantive holder of an office. I must say appointment in acting capacity is not helpful to the country in terms of development and governance.

In his reaction, Quakers said: “One of these acting heads has already gone to court to challenge the insistence that he should wear uniform by the National Assembly before he could appear before them, just because he felt he is yet to be confirmed.

“In terms of the legal implications, it is the president’s prerogative to appoint and the power of the National Assembly to confirm an appointment. But where the appointment is denied confirmation, you can no longer hold the office, as your name has been prevented and denied.

And the president has the constitutional provision to present another name for confirmation, otherwise the person continuing in that office in acting capacity is seen as illegal and unconstitutional, except where the nominees do not need National Assembly confirmation for appointment.”



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