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Nigeria News: FG directs Auditor General to go on retirement leave

The Federal Government has has directed  the Auditor-General of the Federation, Mr. Robert O. Ejenavi, who attained the mandatory retirement age of 60 years four days ago to  proceed on immediate retirement.

 The Special Adviser to the President on Media & Publicity, Mr. Olusegun Adeniyi, in a statement in Abuja yesterday quoted President Yar’Adua as also directing that the  most senior officer in the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation to act as Auditor-General until the process of appointing a substantive Auditor-General is completed.

The process which ends with the confirmation of the nominee by the Senate has already been initiated by the Federal Civil Service Commission with the advertisement of the position in national newspapers on May 12, 2009. The process is expected to be completed within three months.

Ejenavi was accused of  planning to bring an outsider to take over from him rather than recommend any of the directors in his office to take over from him.

According to Economic Confidential, an online news site that focuses on economic and financial sector, Ejenavi who hails  from Delta State is alleged to be nursing grudges against some of the eligible directors in the office.

The most senior director in the office, one Mr. Gabriel Ogunsina from Ekiti State, it was gathered, allegedly had a misunderstanding with Ejenavi over his record of service which were claimed to have been fraudulently doctored.

His refusal to go on the mandatory compulsory pre-retirement leave, a requirement in the public service, and continued lobby of top public functionaries to extend his tenure by more years laid credence to the allegations against him.

Ejenavi was further fingered to be behind the recent advertorial in several newspapers calling on candidates from all sectors: academic, public and private sectors to apply for the position of Auditor General.

The advert, according to a source at the office, was influenced by Ejenavi who had earlier recommended some outsiders among the list of those to be considered.

The requirement in the vacancy announcement stipulated that the prospective candidate must possess a good honours degree; be a qualified accountant, possess a minimum of 15 years post professional qualification experience; have held a position not less than that of a Director in an auditing environment for a period not less than three years and must be a Nigerian citizen not above 50 years or have a minimum of two years to retirement.

Insiders said that that  the directors in the Office of the Auditor General have met the entire requirements stipulated in the vacancy except the condition that the candidate should not be above 50 years which shows that the age clause was deliberately targeted at them.

Most officers in the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation who spoke to the Economic Confidential said they were against the appointment of an outsider for the vacant position because such would negate the spirit of career progression and dampen the morale of officers who desire to reach the peak in their respective organizations.