Nigerians had condemned their nomination, noting that it was a plan to shield them from prosecution by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for alleged abuses committed by the Nigerian military under their watch.
The nominees are: former Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin; the former Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai; and the former Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas.
Others are former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, and the former Chief of Defence Intelligence, Air Vice Marshal Mohammed Usman.
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During their confirmation on Tuesday, February 23, 2021, the Senate Minority Leader Enyinaya Abaribe, questioned why the petitions against the former service chiefs were dismissed without explanations.
Abaribe said the Senate had on three occasions passed resolutions that the nominees be removed as service chiefs, and for them to be brought back to be confirmed for another position demands explanation.
But Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, dismissed Senator Abaribe’s concerns, ruling that the nomination of the former service chiefs cannot be nullified simply because the upper chamber had called for their sack, noting that this is totally a different assignment.
Lawan said having looked through the said resolutions, “understanding is that they have not been appointed to serve as service chiefs – which is a plus for the Senate.”
“If they are nominated for a different position, our resolution will not apply. What we have to do is to advise the executive to use the past experience of the ex-service chiefs in their new positions.
“The nomination cannot be nullified because we said they should be changed,” Lawan said.
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Senator Abaribe was ruled out of order by the Senate President when he attempted to make further comments on the matter.
The Senate, thereafter, dissolved into the committee of the whole to confirm the nominees despite echos of “nays” from many senators.
In his concluding statement, Senator Lawan added that the former service chiefs have served the country to the best of their abilities.
He urged the Executive to utilise their experiences as much as possible and they should be posted to countries where they will be useful.
KanyiDaily had reported that the former service chiefs were retired from service a few weeks ago, after occupying their positions for almost six years.
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