You have no powers to sack us – Auditors-general challenge Gov Otu

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By Asare Asare

Former Cross River State Auditor General, John Odey, and his local government counterpart, Mrs Franka Inok, have challenged Governor Bassey Otu, insisting that he does not have the power to sack them.

As a result, both have defied his directive that they must retire immediately.

In defiance of the governor’s directives, the two officials are still reporting for duties in their offices.

They have written to the chairman of the Cross Rivers State Civil Service Commission, Mr Oko Inaku, who conveyed the governor’s directives to them.

In the letter, they insisted that their services last until their formal retirement age of 65, or when they should have put in 35 years, according to the civil service rules.

In their letter titled, “Re: Notice to Vacate Office,” with reference number CRS/AGLG/81/Vol 11/565, they said: “We wish to bring to your notice Section 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 queried the governor’s directive that they vacate office when they are yet to attain the prescribed years of service or age.

However, a lawyer, Eteng Okposin, said Article 11 of the Nigerian Constitution gives executive power to state governors to hire and fire officials.

According to Okposin: “The governor of a state is charged with the execution of state laws alongside the responsibility of state executive officers, regulatory officers, and judicial officers subject to the approval of the House of Assembly and can sack, dismiss, or terminate the appointment of any official without consulting the State House of Assembly except those democratically elected.”

He advised the two officials not to defy the governor’s directives but to proceed to court.

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