Nigeria: Senate Receives Buhari's Request to Confirm New Service Chiefs

The Nigerian Senate
9 February 2021

The new service chiefs were appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari in January.

The Senate has received a formal request from President Muhammadu Buhari for the confirmation of the newly appointed service chiefs.

The request, contained in a letter dated January, 27, was read by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, during plenary on Tuesday.

The new service chiefs are the Chief of Defence Staff, Lucky Irabor, a major general and the Chief of Army Staff, Ibrahim Attahiru, also a major general.

Others are the Chief of Naval Staff, Awwal Gambo, a rear admiral, and the Chief of Air staff, Isiaka Amao, an air vice marshal.

They will replace the former set of service chiefs - Chief of Defence Staff, Gabriel Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Ibok Ibas; and Chief of Air Staff, Sadique Abubakar.

The letter comes about a week after the presidency announced the resignation of the former service chiefs as well as the appointment of the new set.

The appointments, Mr Buhari said, were in compliance with Section 18(1) of the Armed Forces Act. Cap A20 Laws the Federation of Nigeria 2004.

Also, in a separate letter, the president sought confirmation of the appointment of the former service chiefs as non-career ambassadors - an announcement that was made one week after their resignation.

Condemnation

The nominations sparked outrage among Nigerians with many condemning the president's decision and rating low the performance of the former service chiefs amidst growing insecurity in the country.

The opposition party, PDP, also accused the Buhari administration of attempting to shield the ex-service chiefs from investigation and subsequent prosecution for alleged crimes against humanity.

But in reaction to public criticism, the presidency described the ambassadorial nomination as a reward for "hard work and exceptional sacrifice".

In a letter dated February 4, and read during plenary by Mr Lawan, Mr Buhari said the appointments were duly carried out in accordance to section 171(1),(2)(c) & sub-section (4) of 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.

Other appointments

Meanwhile, the president also sought the Senate's confirmation of Victor Muruako as Chairman for the Fiscal Responsibility Commission.

In another letter, Mr Buhari said the confirmation request was made in accordance with provision of Section 5(3) of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007.

He also asked the Senate to confirm Aghughu Adolphus as Auditor-General of the Federation - pursuant to section 86(1) of Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended); Larry Chukwu as Commissioner representing South-East, at the Nigerian Law Reform Commission and Wakil Bukar as Commissioner representing Bauchi, Borno and Yobe States, at the Federal Civil Service Commission.

They were all conveyed in separate letters read out by the senate president.

In his welcome address, Mr Lawan said he hoped that important legislations like the Petroleum Industry Bill will be considered by the end of April and the Electoral Act, before the end of the second quarter.

He called for calm on the recent emergence of inter-ethnic and inter-tribal conflicts in some parts of the country. This is even as he urged leaders to unite and fight defeat criminality in the country.

Adjournment

The lawmakers suspended all legislative activities for the day in honour a member of the House of Representative, Ossy Prestige, who died recently.

The late lawmaker was initially in a hospital in the United Kingdom but was later transferred to another hospital in Germany, where he died, the Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, said on Tuesday.

The late lawmaker represented Aba North/Aba South Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives. He was first elected in 2015 and re-elected in 2019.

Full legislative activities are expected to resume at the National Assembly on Wednesday.

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