Femi Falana , Human Rights activist has said that the appointment of the four Service Chiefs by Muhammadu Buhari is illegal.
NEWS MAIL NG reports that Femi Falana cited a judgement in 2013 to prove that Buhari’s new appointment is unconstitutional without the concurrence of the National Assembly.
Falana said this in a letter he signed and released on Wednesday. He added that Buhari only nominated the new Service Chiefs and has not appointed them.
“Yesterday, President Buhari was reported to have appointed new service chiefs for the armed forces.
“Upon a critical review of the law on the subject matter the members of the Alliance on Surviving COVID-19 and Beyond (ASCAP) have found that the appointments remain inchoate as President Muhammadu Buhari has not forwarded the names of the proposed service chiefs to the National Assembly for approval in strict compliance with the relevant provisions of the Constitution and the Armed Forces Act.
“The appointments of service chiefs without the concurrence of the National Assembly which had been the practice since 1999 was challenged in the Federal High Court sometime in 2008 by Mr. Festus Keyamo SAN in the case of Keyamo v President Goodluck Jonathan (unreported Suit No FHC/ABJ/ CS/611/2008).
“In his landmark judgment delivered on July 2, 2013, Adamu Bello J. (as he then was) held that it was illegal and unconstitutional, null and void for the President to single-handedly appoint Service Chiefs without the approval of the National Assembly having regards to the combined effect of Section 218 of the Constitution and section 18 (1) & (3) of the Armed Forces Act..,” the statement read.
Falana asked President Buhari to send the names of the new Service Chiefs to the National Assembly immediately.
NEWS MAIL NG reported that the new Service Chiefs are : Major-General Leo Irabor as Chief of Defense Staff; Air Vice Marshal Isiaka Oladayo Amao as Chief of Air Staff; Rear Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo as Chief of Naval Staff; and General Ibrahim Attahiru as Chief of Army Staff.
The replacement of the former Service Chiefs have been commended by Nigerians. Olusegun Bamgbose, chieftain of the New Nigerian Peoples Party, NNPP said it is the best decision Buhari has made in five years.
Femi Adesina the President’s Spokesman reacting to Nigerians who think the replacement came too late said : “the President knew the time to do it and I believe the time has come and that is why it has been done.”