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Disquiet At Petroleum Equalisation Fund Over Recruitment Scandal

Officials of the Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF) have refused to respond to media enquiries over reports that the government agency has flouted recruitment laws.

PEF, a government agency administering uniform prices of petroleum products across the country, recently demoted and dismissed some management staff over various acts of impropriety.

But the unresolved case of Ahmed Aminu Said has stuck out like a broken thumb.

Documents seen by TheCable appear to show that Said was offered employment by PEF while he was yet to complete the mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) exercise.

The offer of employment with reference number PEF/C/123/S.3 dated July 22, 2004 was sent to an address in Yola, Adamawa state at the time Said was said to be doing national service in Kaduna.

“I am pleased to convey to you the decision of the Management of this Board to offer you employment as Officer II,” read the offer signed by M. Bawa, then PEF’s general manager, administration.

Said was given till August 2004 to agree and sign to the conditions stated in an attached form which included that he resumed with a copy of his NYSC and other certificates.

Interestingly, Said submitted his acceptance letter noting he would resume duty July 27, 2004 — five days later. His letter was accepted and minuted upon for documentation.

RESUMED DUTY IN JULY, BUT COMPLETED NYSC SEPTEMBER

For the purposes of employment, Section 12 of the NYSC act demands that candidates provide NYSC certificate.

Section 13 of the act adds that anyone who fails to comply would be liable for conviction.

Section 2 of the civil service rules also states that one must possess requisite qualifications as provided for in the scheme of service to be eligible for recruitment into the civil service.

Graduating from the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU) in Bauchi, Said proceeded for the NYSC exercise on September 8, 2003.

On his NYSC certificate with discharge number A879916, Said completed the programme on September 7, 2004 — about two months after he had already resumed at PEF.

See the employment letter and the NYSC certificate with discharge number A879916 below:

ICPC RECEIVES PETITION AGAINST SAID

A petition against Said dated January 30, 2019 was received by the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) February 1, 2019.

Filed by Mas’ud Zakari through his lawyers, Benjamin Solicitors, the anti graft agency was notified of the “crimes of dishonesty, circumvention of required conditions for employment and surreptitiously obtaining employment at the Petroleum Equalisation Fund (Management) Board as perpetuated by Ahmed Aminu Said.”

The petitioner wrote that Section 18.8 of the board conditions of service on offer of appointment recognised that the letter of appointment is a legal (contract) document which should always be carefully awarded and issued only by competent officials in order to safeguard the interest of the board.

The letter, according to the petitioner, would contain essential information such as probation period, and any failure in obligation on the part of the candidates would nullify the offer.

Efforts to reach Said were abortive as his telephone line was not reachable and he did not respond to SMS.

Musa Talle, chairman of PEF board, and Tukur Ingawa, chairman of the Federal Cvil Service Commission, were yet to respond to messages from TheCable seeking their comments on the case.

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