The Coalition for Good Governance and the Rule of Law has vowed to occupy the office of the Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), Ahmed Idris over his refusal to retire from service despite attaining the mandatory retirement age.
The group also demanded the immediate resignation of Idris’ ally, Ibrahim Tumsah who is currently the Director of Procurement in the Treasury House ‘against known practices anywhere in the world’.
SaharaReporters had earlier reported how the AGF launched was lobbying for his tenure extension.
Idris, who turned 60 on November 25, 2020, had engaged the services of highly placed persons including governors, senators and emirs to prevail on President Muhammadu Buhari to give him an extension.
The move was however against the civil service rules, which states that a career civil servant must disengage from service either after attaining 60 years of age or having worked for 35 years, whichever comes first.
It was also against a recent circular from the office of the Head of Service to all agencies of the Nigerian government, saying, “For avoidance of doubt and in order to maintain discipline and integrity of the extant public service rule which prescribed 60 years of age or 35 years of service for mandatory retirement, should strictly be complied with.
“Accordingly, the following guidelines shall apply. (I) that career officers who take up tenured appointment should at the point of taking up the appointment retire from service to ensure they run their term uninterrupted.
“(II) that career officers who have not retired from service before the commencement of their tenured appointment must leave office on attainment of mandatory age/years of service for retirement and
“(iii) that career officers who are currently holding tenured appointment are required to retire from service with immediate effect and continue to run their term. Failure to do so would mean that they would vacate office on attaining the mandatory age or at the expiration of their term which ever comes first.”
Speaking in a statement sent to SaharaReporters on Wednesday, Isaac Ikpa, President of Coalition for Good governance and the Rule of Law, said the group will on Thursday undertake a nationwide mass protest to demand the immediate resignation of Idris.
“The Coalition for Good governance and the Rule of Law will on Thursday, 1st April, 2021 will undertake a nationwide mass protest to demand the immediate resignation of Alhaji Ahmed Idris, the Accountant General of the Federation and his ally, Ibrahim Tumsah who also illegally occupies the position of Director, Procurement in the Treasury House against known practices anywhere in the world.
“The Accountant General of the Federation (AGF) has attained the mandatory retirement age in the civil service but has continued in office, a development which violated the extant rules of the service.
“It would be recalled the coalition for good governance and the rule of law had in their letter dated 9th March, 2021 and addressed to the AGF put him on notice on their intention to undertake mass action to demand his resignation because of his continued stay in office having attained the mandatory retirement age in civil service.
“The letter said ‘it is indeed sad that as a career civil servant and one that is conversant with the extant civil service rules, you ought to lead by example by leaving office at the attainment of 60 years and also the expiration of your four-year tenure as the Accountant General of the Federation.’”
The group also reminded the AGF that it learnt on good authority ‘you indeed lobbied to bend the rules that led to a second appointment for you to serve as the AGF, an action that is inimical to the preservation of the civil service rules. This is also on the heels that you are aware of the provisions of public service Rule 020810 which clearly states that the position of AGF is a career one and it is strictly guided by the provisions of the public service rule 020810’.
“The group held that the AGF was despicable in his claim that the position of the AGF was a political appointment and that he acted in breach of the public service rules.
“The group, therefore, enjoins Nigerians, CSOs and other partners in progress to come on Thursday for the mass protest against the abuse of the extant rules and laws.”
SaharaReporters had in 2020 exposed how Idris acquired several properties whose value run into many billions of naira since being appointed by President Buhari as the administrative head of the treasury in June 2015.
A visit to Gezawa Commodity Market Limited and Gezawa Integrated Farms Limited owned by Idris gave credence to the allegations made by concerned citizens and some stakeholders on how and where the AGF got the money he used in acquiring the multi-billion naira firms, both in Kano through his direct family members.
The shareholdings of both firms indicate a spread of Idris’ family members on the official board.
There have also been questions asked about how the AGF bought ‘Sokoto Hotel’ in Kano with N500 million cash.
SaharaReporters gathered that Idris upon acquiring the hotel, ordered its immediate demolition with the intention to build a multi-billion naira shopping mall on the property.