Operatives of the Department of State Service, DSS, have raided the office of National Pension Commission, PenCom, in Abuja, on Saturday.
The Punch newspaper reports that the raid follows the refusal of the former Director General of the commission, Chinelo Anohu-Amazu, to hand over to her successor,
Recall that Anohu-Amazu was on Wednesday sacked by President Muhammadu Buhari, alongside all the members of the PENCOM board.
The president appointed Dikko Abdulrahman as new DG subject to Senate’s confirmation, while, Funso Doherty was appointed new Chairman of the board, as well as Akin Akinwale, Abubakar Zaki Magawata, Ben Oviosun and Nyerere Ayim as executive commissioners.
Unconfirmed reports have it that the sacked PenCom DG was still in the office as at Friday despite having been removed from office.
It was gathered that when DSS operatives arrived at the PenCom office on Saturday, Anohu-Amazu evaded arrest as she was said to have gone into hiding.
The DSS however ordered that the former pension boss should report at its headquarters on Monday.
The sack of Anohu-Amazu, has thrown up lots of controversies after it was announced on Wednesday, as it was clearly in violation of the PENCOM reform act 2014.
As stipulated in Section 21 (2) of the Pension Reform Act: “In the event of a vacancy (for the chairman, DG or other members of board), the President shall appoint a replacement from the geo-political zone of the immediate past member that vacated office to complete the remaining tenure.”
This was not the case here as the newly appointed Abdulrahman is from the North West geo-political zone while the sacked Anohu-Amazu is from the South East.
Also, the PENCOM act stated that the president must notify the DG or any member of the board, “in writing”, before removal, however, the sacked members of the PENCOM board said they had not received any such written notification.
The bigger controversy is that the newly appointed PENCOM DG, Abdulrahman, is the current chairman, Board of Directors of Premium Pensions Limited.
He is also a shareholder in the company, contrary to section 19 (5) of the Pension Reform Act.
It states:“The Chairman and members of the Board shall not: (a) own controlling shares in any Pension Fund Administrator or Pension Fund Custodian, prior to and during their tenure of office as Chairman or members of the Board; or (b) be directors or shareholders in any Pension Fund Administrator or Pension Fund Custodian before the expiration of three years after ceasing to be a Chairman or member of the Board.”
However, Section 19 (6) of the act stipulates that: “The Chairman and each member of the Board shall, within one month of appointment, declare personal shareholding as well as those of his family members or close associates in any Pension Fund Administrator or Pension Fund Custodian, in writing to the Board.”
Saturday’s action by the DSS could further lend credence to the insinuations that the service is being used by the Executive as a tool for harassment and intimidation.