October 4, 2022

The Federal Government has reiterated the prohibition on civil servants to partake in primary elections.

This was contained in a circular by the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr Folashade Esan, obtained on Friday.

The circular came hours after the Independent National Electoral Commission asked political parties to conduct their primaries for the nomination of candidates from April 4 to June 3.

The circular, dated May 5, 2022, was titled, ‘Clarification on the provision of public service vis-a-vis the Supreme Court judgement as it relates to participation of civil servant in partisan politics.’

It read in part, “The Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation has been inundated with requests for clarification on the provision of Public Service Rules vis-à-vis the Supreme Court judgment as it relates to the participation of civil servants in partisan politics.

“In the light of the above, it has become necessary to draw the attention of all civil servants to the legal opinion of the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice (HAGF&MJ) on this matter.
“In his letter, Ref. No. SGF/PS/HCSF/210/11 dated 26th November 2018, HAGF & MJ asserted, inter ailia that: ‘Neither the 1999 Constitution nor the Supreme Court has authorised civil servants to engage in partisan politics.

“The provisions of Rules 030422 and 030423 of the Public Service Rules (2008 Edition) were not nullified by the Supreme Court, hence, they remain in force and binding on all civil servants seeking to participate in nomination exercises or party primaries.

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