CSOs condemn alleged illegal tenure extension of Immigration boss

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By Seun Opejobi

The Coalition of Civil Society Groups for Rule of Law and Justice (CCSORLJ), a conglomerate of 15 CSOs in Nigeria, have condemned the planned extension of the tenure of the Acting Comptroller General of Immigration, Carol Adepoju Wura-Ola, for another six months, warning that the move is a total violation of the civil service rule in Nigeria.

The coalition expressed shock over the planned extension described as unlawful and a departure from the principles of justice.

Speaking at a media roundtable on Thursday, the Convener of the Coalition, Nwogu Ndubisi, noted that “the Acting Comptroller General Immigration has officially retired from the immigration service since May 31st 2023 and that the Immigration Act does not give room for retired personnel or those not in the Service to head its operations.”

The CCSORLJ boss noted that Mrs Wura-Ola had been retired from the Immigration service since 31st May.

He said, “We were even shocked when she was appointed to act as the Comptroller General for three months which we even perceive as illegal when there are eminently qualified officers still in service. Since the deed is done, she can only act as Comptroller General for three months and nothing more. Anything other than that by the board or Mr President would be illegal and unlawful.

“Any extension is like extending the retirement age of someone in service, which is not possible except the public service rule is changed.”

Nwogu warned that if this is allowed, it will set a bad precedence and that the coalition will take all lawful action to stop the illegality.

He advised the Acting Comptroller to tow the path of honour, take a bow and quit the stage by the end of August 2023.

“Recall that President Bola Tinubu had appointed Carol Wuraola Adepoju as the Acting Comptroller General on the 31st of May, the day she retired may be because he was not properly briefed on her retirement status, but what puzzles us now is the proposed fresh six months extension after she had earlier been granted three months within which to enable the Ministry to pick a substantive Comptroller General.

“If she could not hold the Service in three months post retirement, what will she be able to achieve in 6 months. This move by those at the corridors of power leaves more to be desired. That is why Mr President has to know what some of his lieutenants are not telling him,” Nwogu said.

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