A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Rotimi Jacobs, has said the appointment of Hannatu Musawa as the Minister for Arts, Culture and Creative Economy, should be regarded as part of her national assignment.
Naija News reports that the minister had come under heavy backlash for emerging as a serving minister without concluding her National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme.
Recall that Musawa had been called out by a Civil Society Organisation, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), for accepting to be a minister and still undergoing a one-year mandatory youth service scheme.
It, therefore, called on the management of NYSC to compel Musawa to focus on either her national youth service or the ministerial appointment.
Also, the NYSC accused Musawa of violating the NYSC Act, saying that it was a breach of the Act for any corps member to pick up a government appointment until the one year of service was over.
But in an interview with The Punch, Jacobs said the minister must be paid the same allowances as other corps members and must participate in other activities.
He said, “She has to be paid the same remuneration as they’re paying other corps members, and she must do all the other things that the corps members are doing. I think it should be regarded as part of her national assignment.”
Also speaking, a senior lawyer, Adegoke Rasheed (SAN), said the court might have to determine if her current position as a minister is an employment or appointment.
Rasheed stated that Musawa’s appointment is a form of service to the nation, saying that she might not be prosecuted for the matter at hand.
Adegoke stated that Musawa could be made to receive a corps member salary and not receive a minister’s salary.
He said, “To me, it could be argued that her appointment is a form of service to the nation. She may be required to be subjected to the rule of the NYSC to attract no further remuneration beyond what is payable under the NYSC Act to an average corps member. The issue of prosecution or other things may not arise.”
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