The protesting staff of the National Assembly have accused the Clark of the Legislative arm, Mohammed Omolori, of diverting funds meant to pay workers' salaries.

Protesters with placards blocked the entrance of the two chambers of the National Assembly, making demands for the payment of their salaries, regularisation of their promotion and training of staff. 

One name that featured in the placards they held was that of Omolori, but he has dismissed the allegations, giving reasons the workers have not received their pay.

"It is a matter that has been on for some time.

"There was an increase and we approved that increase for them which was captured in the 2018 budget, but as it is today, it is a common knowledge about the level of implementation of the 2018 budget especially the new addition to the National Assembly, which has not been implemented.

"That is where we had hoped that the addition will be paid, but the money has not been released.

"There is no way we can effect the payment," he told Bounce News.

On whether the staff of the National Assembly have the right to stop elected members from sitting, Mr Omolori said: "We told them it was wrong.

"We tried to prevail on them to do things in the correct way.

"As a matter of fact, I wrote to them. I don't know whether you have seen my response.

National Assembly staff protest in Abuja

Some of the protesters sitting at the entrance to the Senate chamber

"I also had series of formal and informal consultations with their leadership all through yesterday (December 3) in a bid to make them back out of what is clearly an act that is not in tune with even their own rules.

"As you can see, here they are".

Asked if he was disappointed with the protest holding despite talks held with the representatives, he said 'disappointment' was not the word but "I am worried that a situation where you think that people should be able to look at things properly and then they are not looking at it, that is my worry". 

Also Read: How NASS Staff Embarrassed Ekweremadu, Chased Other Lawmakers 

He then insisted that the staff needed to be patient with the system.

"Like I said in my reply to them, in an unprecedented manner, the presiding officers acceded without hesitation to their request for this percentage.

"It was agreed with them. It was bargained and we came to that agreement and they captured it in the budget.

"So, how is it within their powers if the money is not released. And in any case, the reality on the ground is that it is not even the National Assembly that is suffering from the non-release of funds, it is confronting everyone.

"I think we all have to be patient with the time and the system," he said. 

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