ASURI petitions SGF, Others over RMRDC DG’s Refusal to vacate office after tenure expiration

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By Eunice Orike

The Academic Staff Union of Research Institutions (ASURI) has petitioned the Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), George Akume over the refusal of Prof. Hussaini Ibrahim to vacate office after his tenure has expired as Director General of Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC).

The petition dated April 16, 2024 with reference No. ASN/SGF/RMRDC/0424/01, which was also addressed to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology, the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation and three others, was signed by Prof. Theophilus Ndubuaku, Secretary General of ASURI.

The petition, made available to the press, alleges that Professor Hussaini D. Ibrahim’s second and final tenure as Director General/Chief Executive Officer (DG/CEO) of Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC) expired on Sunday, 7th April 2024, but has refused to hand over to the next most senior Director and vacate office in line with extant regulations.

The petition reads in part: “We have it on good account that rather than hand over and vacate office, Professor Ibrahim merely locked up the office of the DG at the headquarters of RMRDC at Maitama and relocated to the outstation of the Council located within the premises of National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) along the Musa Yar’Adua Expressway at Lugbe, from where he continues to function as DG, authorizing payments and performing other executive functions.

“Without any iota of doubt, this is a direct violation of the Circular of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) of 4th December 2024 with Ref. No. SGF.50/S.11/C.2/268 titled, “END OF TENURE PROCESSES FOR HEADS OF EXTRA-MINISTERIAL DEPARTMENTS, DIRECTORS GENERAL, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICERS OF PARASTATALS, AGENCIES, COMMISSIONS AND GOVERNMENT-OWNED COMPANIES AND SUCCESSION GUIDELINE.”

“The Circular says, inter alia, “…pending the appointment of a substantive Head of Extra-Ministerial Department/Director General/Chief Executive Officer of Parastatals, Agency, Commission and Government-owned Company, the outgoing Chief Executive Officer must handover to the next most senior officer of the establishment, as long as the officer does not have any pending disciplinary matter. Outgoing Heads of Extra-Ministerial Departments, Parastatals, Agencies, Commissions, and Government-Owned Companies, are not allowed the discretion of choosing the officer to whom they would hand over.

“Professor Ibrahim’s refusal to hand over and vacate office is also in violation of section 2.1.2 (d) (ii) of Conditions of Service for Federal Research Agencies, Institutes and Colleges (COS 2019) which says, “In the event of the exit or temporary absence of the substantive Executive Director/Director General/Provost, the most senior Research Fellow/Lecturer shall oversee the affairs of the Institute/College pending the appointment of a substantive Head or return of the substantive Executive Director/Director-General/Provost.