The Speaker of the Parliament of the Economic Community of West African States, Dr. Sidie Tunis, has ordered the immediate suspension of the recruitment of personnel.

He then set up a panel to investigate alleged malpractice in the hiring process.

Tunis issued the directive in a statement from Parliament’s Communications Department.

The suspension follows allegations by the Nigerian delegation in parliament that the country’s candidates were marginalized in the recruitment process.

The Nigerian representation to the bloc had threatened to revoke its membership because its citizens were marginalized in parliament in terms of employment and promotions.

The speaker had received written complaints from the First Vice-President, Hon. Ahmed Idris Wase and the Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the ECOWAS Commission, Amb. Musa Sani Nuhu.

According to the statement, the work of the eight-member independent ad hoc investigative committee is expected to begin in August 2022 and the findings are expected to be made available to the speaker within a week.

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A Bureau meeting will be called immediately to consider the report for further submission to the plenary.

The statement read: “The Honorable President’s action is in accordance with Rules thirty-three (33) and thirty-four (34) of Parliament’s Rules of Procedure, which provide that a special committee may be set up to deal with specific matters.

“The ad hoc committee would be headed by Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume, chairman of the committee on administration, finance and budget.

“Other members of the committee include: Hon. Lynda Chuba Ikpeazu from Nigeria and Hon. Fatoumatta Njai from Gambia.

“Honey. Amadou Djibo Ali from Niger, Hon. Kounon Nahou Agbandao from Togo, Hon. Caramo Camara from Guinea-Bissau, Hon. Moussokora Chantal Fanny from Ivory Coast and Mr Arboncana Oumarou Dicko as Registrar of the Commission.

“The job description of the ad hoc committee is as follows: investigating allegations of inappropriate behavior in the ongoing recruitment process in ECOWAS Parliament; Investigating allegations of marginalization of Nigerian candidates in the current recruitment process;

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“Investigate and determine whether the plenary has indeed adopted a resolution on the subject (recruitment of staff), following the normal parliamentary procedure;

“During the performance of its mandate, the committee will have access to all documents related to the recruitment exercise and will work with the ECOWAS Parliament’s Advisory Committee on Recruitment and Promotion to study and assess the exercise.

“The Ad Hoc Commission would be guided by the provisions of the Supplementary Act and the ECOWAS Staff Regulations.”

The leadership of the parliament has said it is committed to upholding and protecting the rights of all citizens of the community to aspire to positions in an ECOWAS institution, in accordance with the provisions of the group’s personnel regulations and all related protocols.


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