A senior staff member of the Nuhu Bamalli Polytechnic, Zaria, Kaduna State has alleged that there was an illegal extension of tenure for the former registrar, Zainab Barau Mohammed by the state Commissioner of Education, Shehu Usman Muhammad, alongside the Secretary to the State Government, Balarabe Abbas Lawal.
The staff member who spoke with SaharaReporters on condition of anonymity explained that the edict that established the institution in 1989 does not allow for such tenure extension irrespective of the reasons attached.
In a bulletin signed by the institution’s protocol and information manager, it was stated that Zainab Barau’s tenure was extended by six months to sign the certificate of students.
The staff member further explained that in 2016, when the institution had no sitting Rector, students had to wait for many months to get their certificates signed because the law of the institution does not permit the former rector to come back and sign certificates.
He queried the rationale behind Mohammed’s return, to sign certificates when it is against the edict that established the institution.
He also noted that there was already an acting registrar who was sacked for not having a good relationship with the Commissioner of Education and Secretary to the State Government.
He said, “This is in respect to Zainab Barau Mohammed, the former registrar of Nuhu Bamalli Polytechnic; there is an illegal extension of the tenure of Zainab, the immediate last registrar of Nuhu Bamalli Polytechnic by the commissioner of education in Kaduna State.
“Her tenure ended on 27th March, 2021 and she has spent 33 years in service so the edict by which the polytechnic is established in 1989 stipulates that a registrar can be in the office for only four years and if the current registrar has no other four years for another tenure, it cannot be extended. Due to her age, she has no extension of tenure, that was why she left the office in March.
“To our surprise, the honourable commissioner, Ministry of Education in connivance with the secretary of the state government, after assigning someone to act for almost four months as acting registrar, now brought Zainab back to the office of the registrar illegally while the law does not permit that.
“They brought her back to achieve their own selfish interest and she ought not to even come back to the office because there is nowhere in the law that established the polytechnic 1989 as amended in 2003 in the polytechnic staff regulations that allows for an extension of tenure.
“Those before her found themselves in her shoes but their tenures were not extended because it is illegal. This illegality was one of the factors that led to her tenure extension. She does not have another four years.
“Initially, she came from the academic staff, her appointment was in 1988 as an academic staff member. Later on, in 2017, she crossed from academic to non-academic as a registrar. She doesn’t have the cognate experience. Page 186 of the scheme of service stipulated that before someone can become a registrar of the polytechnic, they must at least have the cognate experience.
“In her case, she doesn’t have the cognate experience. They only considered post-qualification experience which is against the service rules. Right from the initial, her appointment was wrong, the Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai was deceived by the Commissioner of Education and Secretary to the State government.
“The Acting Registrar who was given appointment on 27th March, 2021 has the constitutional rights to sign the certificate of students, not the former registrar because the former registrar is not part of them now since she left the office.
“There is no extension of tenure based on the conditions of service. We wrote to His Excellency to register our displeasure.
“The illegal tenure extension is only in connivance between the Commissioner of Education and Secretary to the State Government. They don’t even consult the governor, they just decided between themselves and appointed her again, which is against the service rule. If this case is charged to court, it will be a serious issue because she has no right to come back.
“It is not permitted by the Edict and scheme of service of the polytechnic. The person in acting capacity was removed because she was not in their good books, they removed her and brought this woman in order to solve their personal problem, not that of the polytechnic.
”From 2016 to 2018, there was no rector in the polytechnic, only administrator and the administrator cannot sign certificates, students waited for almost 25 months without signing certificate and no one was sent to sign certificate because the former rector was not allowed to come back and his tenure was not extended for him to come and sign the certificate because it is against the service rules.
“Why is Zainab Barau’s case different? And why, three months after her first tenure ended and she left, why didn’t they advertise the vacancy so as to bring a substantive registrar? After she left for almost four months, they now brought her back on the basis of signing certificates, why?”
Members of the Senior Staff Forum of the institution also collectively registered their displeasure as regards the issue in a letter signed by their Chairman, Abdulmalik Yunusa and Secretary, Stephen Joshua and addressed to the state governor.
SaharaReporters, New York