President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the reinstatement of 11 retired deputy directors in the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).
The President also said the affected DPR top officers be allowed to defend the allegations of being unproductive and disloyal to the ‘system and the government’.
Before the directive, the DPR insisted that the retirement of the 11 officers was in line with Presidential approval for the reorganisation of the agency.
It also said by the nation’s laws, any public officer can be retired in the interest of the public.
The affected officers were retired in March via a letter signed by the Director/Chief Executive Officer of DPR Auwalu Sarki.
They are Dr. M.M. Zagi; Sani Hassan; A. Buba; E. Amadasu; A.R. Shakur; U.B. Nkanga; M. A. Alaku; A.E. Antaih; Bassey Nkanga; Isah Tafida; and J.M. Ajewole.
In the letter, titled “Re-organisation of DPR-Retirement from service, Auwalu said: “This is to convey the approval of the Honourable Minister, Petroleum Resources for your retirement from the service of DPR.
“By this, Finance and Account Division has been advised to process your retirement benefits as appropriate. The DPR expresses gratitude for service and wishes you success in your future endeavours.”
But the deputy directors, some of who were due for retirement in 2026 and 2029, protested, alleging unfairness and a breach of Public Service Rules.
The aggrieved officers faulted their sudden retirement without any basis.
They also claimed that their retirement was not in line with the nature of their employment and the Public Service Rules.
After seeking the input of the relevant units, the President on July 6, directed the recall of the retired officers.
This was contained in a memo to the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation by the Presidency through the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari.
The memo, titled “Re: Appeal to rescind letter of retirement from service,” reads: “Kindly note that Mr President has directed that the Department for Petroleum Resources (DPR) should immediately recall the retired officers and request them to defend the allegations of being unproductive and disloyal to the ‘system and government’ levelled against them in line with DPR’s disciplinary procedures and if found culpable, appropriate disciplinary measures, as provided in the NNPC Corporate Policy and Procedure Guide and Public Service Rules, be applied to them.”