Group Wants Isegbe’s Re-appointment As NAQS Boss Reversed

The African Leadership Strategy and Transparency Development Initiative (ALSTDI) has called on President Bola Tinubu to urgently right the wrong of what it called unlawful and unconstitutional re-appointment of Dr Vincent Isegbe as Director General of Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS).

The group made the call at a press conference addressed by its executive director, Comrade Nelson Ossai Eze, on Wednesday in Abuja.

It stated that the public service rule on the tenure of a director-general of th Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service as stated in Section 10 (1), (2) and (5) states that, “the president shall appoint for the service a Director General on the recommendation of the minister.”

Comrade Eze further said that given the date and year Dr. Vincent Isegbe was born on March 26, 1961, and retired from the Service on March 26, 2021 upon attainment of the mandatory retirement age of 60 years and in accordance with the law, he was no longer suitable for re-appointment after the end of his first tenure.

The group suggested that the acting Director-General, who was appointed to act after Dr. Isegbe’s end of tenure, be allowed to continue to head the Service either in acting capacity or otherwise confirmed by the President.

“Over the years, the problem with Nigeria has been that of leadership and we have been grappling with individuals who are bent on sitting tight to positions that they had no ideas of making impacts.

“The case of the unlawful reappointment of the director general of the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS) is a typical case of recycling of unproductive elements in the Nigerian public system.

“Basically, the law is clear under the public service rules on the tenure of a director general of NAQS as stated in section 10 (1), (2) and (5).

“Section 10 (2) made provisions of the rank of the designated director general as a high-ranking officer in the service. Meaning only high- ranking officers of the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service can be appointed as Director General due to the fact that the agency is specialized one.

“It is therefore surprising that Dr. Vincent Isegbe who has officially retired from the service is again re-appointed as the Director General after expiration of his tenure which he then handed over to the highest ranking officer in the agency in accordance to the extant provisions of section 10 (2) of the NAQS Act to act in acting capacity. His tenure was not renewed prior to his handing over which could have justified his case but three months after handing over as a retired officer and no longer in service reappeared with a re-appointment letter to serve for another five(5) years having spent a total of nine(9) years at the helm of affairs of the agency. With this new development he might end up spending fourteen (14) years heading the agency.

“If the above is allowed to persist and not reversed, where will the future for upcoming senior officers who equally have aspirations to head the agency be?. The President should not forget his Government’s mantra of Renewed Hope. In this case, where is the hope?

“The civil society community is concerned about the criteria used to select individuals into public office. Where the law has outlined the process of appolating heads of agencies, what other justification can be given for placing an individual interest above the collective interest of the nation? Why must we continue to violate our laws just to please individual’s interest?” the group queried

It added that the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) should advise the President to reverse the re-appointment accordingly on the basis of the provisions of the NAQS Act and stop further abuse of the law.

“As it seems, any function carried out by Dr. Vincent Isegbe is ultra-vires and of no legal consequences. The Attorney General should save the nation of unnecessary litigations and embarrassment,” Eze stated.

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