The Presidency has said the Senate has yet to consider the confirmation of the newly appointed Service Chiefs by President Muhammadu Buhari because it is currently on recess. In a statement made available to journalists yesterday by Senator Babajide Omoworare, Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), the Presidential aide clarified that Buhari officially wrote the Senate President seeking their confirmation in a letter dated 27th January 2021 in furtherance of Section 18 (1) of the Armed Forces Act Cap. A.20 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria.
According to him, the President in the letter sought confirmation of the Senate for the appointment of Major General Lucky Irabor, Major General Ibrahim Attahiru, Rear Admiral Awwal Gambo and Air Vice Marshal Isiaka Amao as Chief of Defence Staff, Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Naval Staff and Chief of Air Staff respectively, vide his aforementioned letter. But the letter could not be made public because the Senate is on recess and would be resuming plenary sessions by February 9, when the President’s communication for consideration and confirmation of the nomination for appointment of the Service Chiefs would be undertaken.
Omoworare said the President has not bypassed the National Assembly in the process of appointment of the Service Chiefs as being speculated in certain quarters. He said: “It is on record that this same procedure was adopted when the immediate past Service Chiefs were appointed. Upon announcement of the appointment of the then Service Chiefs – Major General Abayomi Olonisakin (Chief of Defence Staff), Major General Tukur Buratai (Chief of Army Staff), Rear Admiral Ibok-Efe Ibas (Chief of Naval Staff) and Air Vice Marshal Sadique Abubakar (Chief of Air Staff), Mr. President had written the 8th Senate on 14th July 2015 for confirmation.
Whilst the correspondence was read on the floor of the Senate on 28th July 2015, consideration and confirmation of the appointments was carried out at the Committee of the Whole on 4th August 2015.