Head Of Service Of The Federation Clarifies Position Of Civil Servants In Politics

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The Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF) has clarified the provision of Public Service Rules (PSR) vis-å-vis the Supreme Court judgment as it relates to the participation of civil servants in partisan politics.

Njenje Media News reports that a  circular signed by the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation,  Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan, stated that it had become necessary to draw the attention of all civil servants to the legal opinion of the  attorney-general of the  federation and minister of justice on the matter.

The circular reads in part, “The Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF) has been inundated with requests for clarification on the provision of Public Service Rules (PSR) vis-å-vis the Supreme Court Judgment as it relates to the participation of civil servants in partisan politics.

“In the light of the above, it has become necessary to draw the attention of all civil servants to the legal opinion of the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice (HAGF&MJ) on this matter. In his letter, Ref. No. SGF/PS/HCSF/210/11 dated 26th November, 201 8, HAGF&MJ asserted, inter alia, that:

“That neither the 1999 Constitution nor the Supreme Court has authorized civil servants to engage in partisan politics: The provisions Of Rules 030422 and 030423 of the Public Service Rules   (2008 Edition) were not nullified by the Supreme Court, hence, they remain in force and binding on all civil servants seeking to participate in nomination exercises or party primaries”.

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“The provisions of Rules 030402(g), 030422 and 030423 of the Public Service Rules (2008 Edition) should be enforced and that the attention of civil servants (be drawn) to the fact that the Supreme Court judgment in NEC vs Musa did not set aside or nullify these provisions of the Public Service Rules, hence, they must be complied with by any civil servant who wishes to seek nomination or participation in party primary elections.”

The circular further stated that accordingly, in the overall best interest of neutrality, harmony, integrity, and development of the Nigerian civil service, all civil servants are strongly advised to be guided by the provisions of PSR and the legal opinion of the attorney-general of the federation and minister of justice on the subject.

He further stated that the contents of the circular should be given the widest circulation for the compliance of all concerned.