By Adedayo Akinwale and Udora Orizu in Abuja
The House of Representatives yesterday screened the President Muhammadu Buhari’s nominees for the positions of Service Chiefs as requested by the President.
The House had at its plenary on 10th February 2021, read a request from the President informing the House of the nomination of Major General Lucky Irabor; Major-General Ibrahim Attahiru; Rear Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo; and Air Vice Marshal Ishiaka Oladayo Amao, for appointment as Chief of Defence Staff, Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Naval Staff and Chief of Air Staff, respectively.
The Chairman of the House Committee on Defence and Chairman of the Screening Committee, Hon. Babajimi Benson, said the nominees were presented for confirmation in accordance with the provisions of Section 18 (1) of the Armed Forces Act, Cap A20 Law of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.
Speaking to THISDAY, the Spokesman of the House of Representatives, Hon. Benjamin Kalu justified the screening of the new Service Chiefs, saying that the House just like the Senate has the constitutional power to carry-out the exercise.
Kalu cited Section 18, subsection 1 of the Armed Forces Act, Cap A20 laws of the federation of Nigeria 2004, which he said reveals that Buhari was in order when he sent a letter to the House of Representatives on the 27 January 2021 asking for the screening of Service Chiefs.
He also made reference to a 2013 court case filed by the current Minister of Labour and Employment, Mr. Festus Keyamo against the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, in which the Supreme Court held that it is the duty of the National Assembly, not just the Senate to the exclusion of the House.