The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, on Wednesday, constituted an adhoc committee to screen the new service Chief recently appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The President had in a letter to the Speaker sought the screening and confirmation of the Service Chief by the lawmakers in accordance with the provisions of the Armed Forces Act which required the confirmation of the service chiefs by the National Assembly.
The Nation, however, learnt that unlike executive/civilian appointments by the President, which are usually confirmed by the Senate alone, the Armed Forces Act required that appointment into the top brass of the military be confirmed by the National Assembly.
Section 18(1) of the Armed Forces Act cited by Buhari reads, “The President, may, after consultation with the Chief of Defence Staff and subject to confirmation by the National Assembly, appoint such officers (in this Act referred to as ‘the 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.”
The letter from the President which was read at Wednesday sitting of the House reads, “In compliance with the provisions of Section 18(1) of the Armed Forces Act. Cap A20 Laws the Federation of Nigeria 2004, I hereby forward for confirmation by the Senate, the appointment of the under listed officer as the Chief of Defence Staff and Services Chiefs of the Armed forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“Maj. Gen. Lucky Eluonye Onyenuchea lrabor – Chief of Defence Staff; Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru – Chief of Army Staff; Rear Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo – Chief of Naval Staff; and Air Vice Marshal Isiaka O. Amao – Chief of Air staff.
“I hope that the Honourable House will consider and confirm the nominees in the usual expeditious manner.”
The committee set up by the Speaker is made up of six members each from the House Committees on Army, Navy, Air Force and Defence and will be headed by the Chairman of the House Committee on Defence, Babajimi Benson.
The Speaker said the decision to constitute the adhoc committee followed the need to observe the COVID-19 protocols, adding that allowing the various committees to meet would amount to crowding about 200 people inside one room.