Service Chiefs: Stop Making Illegal Appointments, Court Tells Jonathan




Service Chiefs

President Goodluck Jonathan has been told stop appointing Service Chiefs forthwith without approval from the Senate.

 

Justice Adamu Bello of the Federal sitting in Abuja on Monday declared the appointment of all Service Chiefs of the federation unconstitutional, illegal, null and void and restrained the President from further appointing them without the approval of the Senate.

 

Mr Festus Keyamo in 2008 instituted a case against the President of the of Nigeria, the Attorney-General of the Federation and all the Service Chiefs.

 

In the Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/611/2008, Mr. Keyamo had sought a determination of the following questions:

 

1.   Whether by the combined interpretation of the provisions of Section 218 of the Constitution of the of Nigeria, 1999 and Section 18 of the Armed Forces Act, Cap. A.20, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, the 1st Defendant can appoint the Service Chiefs of the Federation, namely,

 

(a) The Chief of

(b) The Chief of Army Staff and
(c) The Chief of Naval Staff,

 

(that is, the 3rd, 4th & 5th Defendants were appointed as such) without the confirmation of the National Assembly first sought and obtained.

 

2.   Whether Section 18 (1) & (2) of the Armed Forces Act, Cap. A.20, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 is not in conformity with the provision of the 1999 Constitution so as to fall within the category of existing laws under Section 315 (2) of the Constitution of the of Nigeria, 1999, that the President, may, by Order, modify its text, to bring it into conformity with the provisions of the Constitution.

 

The court answered both questions in favour of Mr. Festus Keyamo and granted the following orders:

 

(1)     A DECLARATION that the appointment of Service Chiefs for the Federal Republic of Nigeria by the President, without the confirmation of the National Assembly is illegal, unconstitutional and void.

 

(2)     A DECLARATION that Section 18 (1) & (2) of the Armed Forces Act, Cap. A.20, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, is in conformity with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution so as not to fall within the category of existing laws under Section 315 (2) – of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, that the President, may, by order, modify its text, to bring it into conformity with the provisions of the Constitution.

 

(3)     AN ORDER restraining the President from further appointing Service Chiefs for the Federation without first obtaining the confirmation of the National Assembly.

 

 

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