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The Senate has condemned illegal recruitments by Federal Government ministries, departments and agencies, warning that it is a threat to Nigeria’s unity. The legislative chamber is now moving to criminalise secret recruitment into government office.

This was made known at the plenary on Wednesday when the upper chamber of the National Assembly passed a bill sponsored by Senator Biodun Olujimi (Ekiti-South) for second reading.

It was titled, “A Bill for An Act to Make It an Offence for Vacant Positions in the Federal Civil Service to be Filled Without Their Being Advertised and For Other Matters Connected Therewith, 2017.”

The bill, if passed into law by the National Assembly and assented to by the President, will make any senior government official who approved an illegal recruitment liable to same offence and punishment.

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Section 2 of the proposed law read, “(1) Any person who violates the provisions of Section 1 commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding N300,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than two years or to both.

“Where a federal ministry, agency or parastatal commits an offence under subsection (1), any officer, director or agent of the federal ministry, agency or parastatal who directed, authorised, assented to or acquiesced or participated in the commission of the offence is a party to and guilty of the offence and is liable on conviction to the punishment provided for the offence, whether or not the federal ministry, agency or parastatal has been prosecuted for or convicted of the offence.”

The bill proposed that it should be an offence for any Federal Government ministry, agency or parastatal to fill a vacancy in their establishment unless the vacancies were placed on their notice board for three months before the commencement of the recruitment exercise.

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