Dr. Sidie Tunis, Speaker of the Economic Community of West African States Parliament, has ordered an immediate halt to employee hiring.
He then established a panel to look into suspected irregularities in the hiring process.
Tunis issued the instruction in a press release from the communications section of the legislature.
The suspension comes in response to claims made by the Nigerian delegation at the parliament that candidates from their nation were being overlooked throughout the hiring process.
Due to the marginalization of its inhabitants in the parliament in terms of employment and promotions, the Nigerian delegation to the bloc had threatened to resign.
First Deputy Speaker Ahmed Idris Wase and Ambassador Musa Sani Nuhu, the Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the ECOWAS Commission, both submitted the speaker written complaints.
The statement states that the eight-person independent Ad Hoc Investigation Committee will begin its work in August 2022 and that the speaker will get their findings within a week.
A bureau meeting will be called right away to discuss the report before it is presented to the plenary.
The statement said, “The Honorable Speaker’s move is in accordance with Rules Thirty-three (33) and Thirty-four (34) of the Rules of Procedures of the Parliament, which specify that a Special Committee may be established to handle certain issues.
“The Ad hoc Committee would be headed by Sen. Mohammed Ali Ndume, Chairman of the Committee on Administration, Finance, and Budget.
“Other Members of the Committee include:Hon. Lynda Chuba Ikpeazu from Nigeria and Hon. Fatoumatta Njai from the Gambia.
“Hon. Amadou Djibo Ali from Niger, Hon. Kounon Nahou Agbandao from Togo, Hon. Caramo Camara from Guinea Bissau, Hon. Moussokora Chantal Fanny from Cote d’ Ivoire and Mr. Arboncana Oumarou Dicko to serve as Clerk to the Committee.
“The Terms of Reference of the Ad Hoc Committee shall be as follows: Investigate allegations of inappropriate conduct in the ongoing recruitment process at the ECOWAS Parliament; Investigate allegations of marginalization of Nigerian Candidates in the current recruitment process;
“Investigate and determine if indeed the plenary adopted any Resolution concerning the subject matter (Recruitment of Staff), using normal parliamentary procedure;
“In the execution of its mandate, the committee shall be granted access to all documents relating to the recruitment exercise and work with the Advisory Committee on Recruitment and Promotions at the ECOWAS Parliament, to under-study and review the exercise.
“The Ad hoc Committee would be guided by the provisions of the Supplementary Act and the ECOWAS Staff Regulations.”
According to the leadership of the parliament, it is committed to supporting and defending every community member’s ability to pursue jobs in any ECOWAS institution, in accordance with the terms of the group’s personnel regulations and other pertinent procedures.