Former legislative aides who served under the ninth National Assembly have raised concerns over 15 months of unpaid salaries, seeking intervention from prominent figures including President Bola Tinubu, the Independent Corrupt Practices & Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The affected staff, totaling 280, previously worked in the offices of former Senate President Ahmad Lawan and Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila. Despite serving as legislative aides for two years, the workers claim to be owed 15 months of salaries out of the 24 months of their service.
Efforts to address the issue through legitimate channels, including appeals to the National Assembly management, have allegedly been met with indifference. The affected staff members have now turned to President Tinubu and the anti-corruption agencies, ICPC and EFCC, to ensure the recovery of their unpaid salaries.
In a statement by the conveners, Mr. Sulaiman Abbas and Joseph Isah, the affected staff are encouraged to observe fasting and prayers on Friday. The prayer points will specifically seek divine intervention to influence the hearts of the Clerk of the National Assembly and the present Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, towards approving the overdue payments.
The statement highlighted that the salaries were reportedly disbursed by the former Finance Minister, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, to the National Assembly management months ago. However, the funds were allegedly diverted for undisclosed purposes, causing prolonged suffering for the former aides and their families.
Expressing frustration with the situation, the affected staff emphasized their commitment to pursuing justice and fairness. They called on President Tinubu and the chairmen of the ICPC and EFCC to uphold their oaths to the Nigerian people, ensuring the equitable treatment of all citizens and facilitating the complete payment of the withheld salaries to alleviate the hardships caused by the alleged misappropriation.