After much controversy on the constitutionality of the exercise, President Muhammadu Buhari has at last transmitted a letter to President of the Senate, Abubakar Bukola Saraki, seeking the screening and confirmation of the Service Chiefs – one week after they were named.
The transmission of the letter is despite the postponement of the National Assembly’s resumption date by one week.
The President had appointed Major General Abayomi Gabriel Olonishakin as Chief of Defence Staff; Major General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, Chief of Army Staff; Rear Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas, Chief of Naval Staff; and Air Vice Marshal Monday Riku Morgan, Chief of Air Staff.
A source close to the office of the Senate President said the confirmation letter has been sent to the upper chamber, but attempts to get further clarification proved abortive.
However, the source gave an insight into the letter, seeking “confirmation of the following nominees for appointment as the Chief of Defence Staff and Service Chiefs for the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in accordance with Section 18(1) of the Armed Forces Act, Cap. A. 20 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004”.
The letter also noted: “The President may, upon consultation with the Chief of Defence Staff and subject to confirmation by the National Assembly, appoint such officers (in this Act referred to as ‘’Service Chiefs’’) as he thinks fit, in whom the command of the Army, Navy and Air Force, as the case may be, and their Reserves shall be vested.”
Recall that Saraki, was quoted as telling the President via his twitter handle that he does not require the approval of the Senate to nominate the country’s Service Chiefs, adding stressing on his Twitter handle, Tuesday last week, that it was not the business of the Senate to approve the appointment of Service Chiefs