10 days after appointment, Senate receives letter to confirm service chiefs
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AFTER the new service chiefs have spent 10 days in office, the Nigerian Senate has confirmed receiving a letter from President Muhammadu Buhari seeking their confirmation.
During plenary on Tuesday, Ahmad Lawan, Senate president, read the letter dated January 27 seeking the confirmation of the newly appointed service chiefs.
According to Lawan, the letter read “In compliance with the provisions of Section 18(1) of the Armed Forces Act. Cap A20 Laws the Federation of Nigeria 2004, I hereby forward for confirmation by the Senate, the appointment of the under listed officer as the Chief of Defence Staff and Services Chiefs of the Armed forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.
The appointees listed for confirmation include Lucky Eluonye Onyenuchea lrabor as Chief of Defence Staff, Ibrahim Attahiru as Chief of Army Staff, Awwal Zubairu Gambo as Chief of Naval Staff and Isiaka O. Amao as Chief of Air staff.
Although the letter for confirmation sent to the Senate is dated January 27th, Buhari had already appointed the new service chiefs on January 26th. Since then the newly appointed service chiefs have started functioning as substative military heads.
Femi Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria had faulted the process of appointment of the new service chiefs.
Falana said this when he appeared on Channels Tv Sunrise Daily Programme questioning the legality of the appointments.
“The whole essence of democracy, presidential system of government is to ensure that there are checks and balances, section 218 of the constitution which empowers the president to make appointments also empowered the Senate to make laws with respect to the exercise of the power by the president.
“Section 18 of the Armed Forces Act provides that both chambers of the National Assembly shall approve the appointment of the service chiefs,” Falana said.
He added that the law was interpreted in the case of Festus Keyamo versus the President of Nigeria and the decision was rendered in 2018 by retired Justice Adamu Bello.
The Human rights lawyer said the constitutional provision had not been followed in the new service chiefs’ appointment.