By Naomi Sharang
Some legislative aides to lawmakers on Monday, petitioned the EFCC and the ICPC over alleged diversion of their entitlements by the management of the National Assembly.
The aides who staged separate peaceful protests at the headquarters of the two anti-graft agencies in Abuja, said the non-payment of their entitlements has turned them into “slaves”.
The petition was signed by Mr Zebis Kekung and Mr Kingsley Ejekwu Esq for Concerned Legislative Aides.
In the petition dated Feb. 14, and addressed to EFCC Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa and ICPC Chairman, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, the aides said they were also being owed Duty Tour Allowance (DTA), Minimum Wage Arrears from Jan. 2020 and trainings among others.
The legislative aides who held banner and placards with various inscriptions also called for transparency in the management of Legislative Aides account to avoid breach of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007.
Some of the placards read: “We are aides not slaves”, “Probe the Clerk to the National Assembly and NASS Presiding Officers for aides entitlement”, “NASS Management: Pay us our legitimate arrears and minimum wage”.
The petition reads: “The non-payment of these accumulated legitimate entitlements has turned legislative aides into legislative slaves.
“We have been pauperised to the extent that we are unable to meet our financial obligations like payment of school fees, hospital bills, house rents, debt servicing, putting us into several embarrassing situations.
“All avenues we employed in appealing to the consciences of Senate President Ahmad Lawan, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, ‘Femi Gbajabiamila and the Clerk of the National Assembly, Amos Ojo have failed hence the last recourse to this petition.
“It is instructive to note that legislative aides affairs are directly under the purview of the Speaker.
“We are therefore beseeching you to use your good office to investigate this criminal diversion of our budgeted legitimate entitlements, bring the culprits to book and ensure the prompt payment of the allowances and arrears to us.”(NAN)(www.nannews.ng)