President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday approached the Senate for the screening and confirmation of the appointment of the Service Chiefs of the Nigerians Armed Forces. This is coming at a time that several legal practitioners are questioning the constitutional powers of the president to unilaterally appoint service chiefs without the involvement of the National Assembly.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Babajide Omoworare, on Friday, disclosed that the President’s letter to the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, for the confirmation of the service chiefs was dated 27th January 2021. He noted that the process is in fulfilment of Section 18 (1) of the Armed Forces Act Cap. A.20 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria.
Senator Omoworare stated that President Buhari’s letter allays the fears in some quarters that the President “bypassed” the National Assembly in the appointment of the Service Chiefs and that he has no intention of seeking consideration and confirmation of the appointments.
Senator Omoworare declared: “Mr. President, upon nomination for the appointments, sought confirmation of the Senate for the appointment of Major General Lucky Irabor, Major General Ibrahim Attahiru, Rear Admiral Awwal Gambo and Air Vice Marshal Isiaka Amao as Chief of Defence Staff, Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Naval Staff and Chief of Air Staff respectively, vide his aforementioned letter.
“It is on record that this same procedure was adopted when the immediate past Service Chiefs were appointed. Upon announcement of the appointment of the then Service Chiefs – Major General Abayomi Olonisakin (Chief of Defence Staff), Major General Tukur Buratai (Chief of Army Staff), Rear Admiral Ibok-Efe Ibas (Chief of Naval Staff) and Air Vice Marshal Sadique Abubakar (Chief of Air Staff), Mr. President had written the 8th Senate on 14th July 2015 for confirmation. Whilst the correspondence was read on the floor of the Senate on 28th July 2015, consideration and confirmation of the appointments was carried out at the Committee of the Whole on 4th August 2015.”
The National Assembly will be resuming plenary on February 9, 2021.
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