Information Minister, Labaran Maku, on Monday ordered the acting Director General, Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), Samson Shaibu, to vacate office immediately following a PREMIUM TIMES exclusive report, which revealed that he was sitting tight in office despite attaining the mandatory retirement age of 60.
Mr. Shaibu, who was last February appointed acting DG of the Federal Government-owned broadcasting corporation following the expiration of the tenure of Yusuf Nuhu, clocked 60 on June 22.
The Federal Civil Service rule stipulates that all categories of workers in the public service shall compulsorily retire at 60, or after serving for 35 years, whichever is earlier. The only exemptions are judicial officers and members of the Academic Staff of Universities who are entitled to retire at 70 and 65 years respectively.
The law specifically says that a director shall compulsorily retire upon serving eight years on the post.
In line with the tradition in the civil service prior to retirement, Mr. Shaibu should have commenced his pre-retirement vacation since March this year.
But, PREMIUM TIMES gathered that shortly after assuming office, the acting DG reportedly informed colleagues about a letter he said was issued to him by the office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation giving him the option of either leaving or staying on till further notice.
A source in the Federal Ministry of Information said yesterday’s report on Mr. Shuaibu terribly embarrassed Mr. Maku, who was accused by ministry and FRCN officials of abetting the acting DG to violate the nation’s laws.
It was gathered that the Minister, who was very angry on seeing the report in PREMIUM TIMES, immediately summoned the DG to his office and gave him the marching orders to hand over immediately to the most senior director in the corporation.
“It appears the minister received directive from the presidency and the office of the secretary to government of the federation asking him to send the DG away immediately,” a ministry insider said.
It was gathered that in the absence of the most senior director in Abuja, Mr. Shaibu was directed to hand over to the Corporation’s secretary (Legal), David Anpahzo, pending the arrival of the Director of Training, FRCN Training School, Lagos, Tony Adione, who is next in line among the most senior directors qualified to take over.
It was gathered that two other directors, who could have taken over, were overlooked over some pending internal issues.
Mr. Maku could not be reached for comments. His Special Assistant (Media), Joseph Mutah, did not respond to calls and text message to his phone seeking comment on why the minister encouraged the FRCN boss to stay on.
Mr. Shaibu had told PREMIUM TIMES he broke no law by overstaying in office.
“My former career as a civil servant has expired,” he said. “I have retired from service. But, I am serving a political appointment as acting DG of FRCN.”
Meanwhile, a former DG of the corporation, Eddie Iroh, has faulted Mr. Shaibu’s claim that his action to stay on after his retirement followed a precedence set by his predecessors in office.
Mr. Iroh, who is one of those Mr. Shaibu said were tapped from retirement to head the station, vehemently denied that he was recalled from retirement to take up appointment as DG when he did, describing Mr. Shaibu’s claim as incorrect.
“It is grossly false for him (Shaibu) to say that I was appointed DG of FRCN “from retirement,” Mr. Iroh said. “The only public service position I had held prior to FRCN was as Controller with NTA, from where I resigned in 1982 to join the founding staff of the Guardian newspaper – a fact of public knowledge. At the time I resigned I was still in my forties, had served for only eight years, and therefore a long way from retirement.”
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