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  • Updated: January 28, 2021

Appointment Of New Service Chiefs Unconstitutional — Femi Falana

Appointment Of New Service Chiefs  Unconstitutional — Femi

Human Rights Lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), has declared President Muhammadu Buhari’s appointment of new service chiefs as illegal and unconstitutional.

Recall Buhari appointed new service chiefs on Tuesday following the resignation of the former officers.

But Falana, in a statement he personally signed on Wednesday, quoted a 2013 judgment which described such appointments without the concurrence of the National Assembly as illegal and unconstitutional.

For this reason, Falana said that Buhari only nominated the service chiefs and did not appoint them.

“Yesterday, President Buhari was reported to have appointed new service chiefs for the armed forces.

READ ALSO: Buhari Meets New Service Chiefs At Aso Villa

“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 pointed out that the Federal Government did not challenge any aspect of the judgment at the Court of Appeal having acknowledged it as sound and unimpeachable.

He explained that the judgment was binding on all authorities and persons in Nigeria in accordance with the provisions of section 287 of the Constitution.

The senior lawyer asked President Buhari to send the names he had selected to both chambers of the National Assembly for confirmation.

 

 

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