Cross River Auditor General for State, Local Govt dare Otu over sack
By Ene Asuquo
THE Cross River State Auditor General Mr John Odey and his Local Government counterpart, Mrs Franka Inok have dared the State governor, Senator Bassey Otu over their forced retirement, claiming the governor has no such powers.
The two in a letter addressed to the Chairman Civil Service Commission, Mr Oko Inaku who on Monday conveyed the governor’s directives to the two officials stated that their services last until their formal retirement age.
In the letter titled: “Re – Notice to vacate Office”, with reference number CRS/AGLG/81/Vol 11/565 the officials stated thus: “We wish to bring to your notice sections 127 of the 1999 Constitution and Section 42 of the Cross River State Audit Law number 2021 as amended regarding the removal from office of the Auditor General”
They claim that they can only be retired after the attainment of the age of sixty years or mandatory thirty five years of service and queried why the governor should direct them to vacate office when they are yet to attain the prescribed years of service or age.
A lawyer Eteng Okposin when contacted by our reporter on the position of the two officials said Article 11 of the Nigerian Constitution vests Executive powers on the governor in a state to hire and fire officials depending on his disposition of their service if unsatisfied.
“The governor of a state is charged with the execution of state laws alongside the responsibility of state executive officers, regulatory and judicial officers subject to the approval of the House of Assembly and can sack, dismiss, terminate the appointment of any official without consulting the State House of Assembly except those democratically elected”
He said rather than continue to defy the governors directives, the duo should head to court.
A staff of the Civil Service Commission Bright Ogbolo stated that in 2015, Senator Ben Ayade, former governor of the state dissolved all the boards, agencies and commissions including statutory ones “and when the Judicial Service Commission instituted a matter in Court against the governor the matter was thrown out”
In defiance to the governor’s directives the two officials are still reporting for duties in their offices.