The House of Representatives has instituted an investigation into reports of alleged lopsided recruitment by the Nigerian Army, Daily Trust learnt in Abuja yesterday.
It followed “petitions and complaints” which lawmakers received from their constituents claiming that the recent recruitment by the Army defied federal character requirements, a member of the investigative panel told our reporter yesterday.
A joint House committee on Defence, Army and Federal Character is conducting the investigation, and yesterday it asked Chief of Army Staff Lt-General Azubuike Ihejirika to appear before it today at 11am to defend the allegations.
“We have received several petitions alleging that the Chief of Army staff neglected federal character principle in recent cadet recruitments into the Nigerian Defence Academy and the Nigerian Army Depot,” a legislator said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak on the issue.
“All our constituents who are qualified and applied for the NDA and recruits were denied, but we got report that their places were all given to people from one zone of the country, and this is unconstitutional,” he added.
Daily Trust learnt that the committee was mandated by the House leadership to investigate the allegations and submit their findings.
On Tuesday, the Chief of Army Staff was summoned to appear before the probe committee but he instead sent in the Military Secretary to represent him yesterday.
However, the committee, chaired by House Chief Whip Rep. Isiaka Mohammed Bawa (PDP, Taraba), turned back the Military Secretary and said the Army chief must appear personally today by 11am or risk “the anger of the parliament.”
Should the principle of Federal Character be applied in every Federal Government recruitment-especially, as it regards security where expertise and qualifications should be considered first and foremost before any requirement?
Source: Daily Trust