Human Rights Activist and radical lawyer, Festus Keyamo has hailed yesterday’s removal of the Service Chiefs by President Goodluck Jonathan as a step in the right direction, saying it vindicated his earlier position that their appointments in the first place did not follow constitutionally laid down procedures.
The president Thursday in an unprecedented move sacked the Service Chiefs including Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral Ola Sa’ad Ibrahim; Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen Azubuike Ihejirika; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Dele Ezeoba while Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Alex Badeh was elevated to the position of CDS.
Keyamo, who had earlier won a landmark court judgment which declared the previous appointments of the Service Chiefs as null and void, recalled that he had issued a 14-day ultimatum to the president to obey the July 1, 2013, Federal High Court ruling or he would have no option but to head back to the court to force compliance.
In a statement issued yesterday in reaction to the development, Keyamo said, “Today’s (yesterday) announcement of the removal of the Service Chiefs by President Goodluck Jonathan in compliance with the judgment of the Federal High Court in the case ofFestus Keyamo Vs. President and 4 others (which declared the previous appointments null and void) is a welcome development. Recall that last week I issued a fourteen-day ultimatum to all relevant parties to comply that judgment.
“Therefore, the appointments of the new Service Chiefs that have just been made subject to the confirmation of the National Assembly (in compliance with the judgment) is also commendable.
“The rule of law is the cornerstone upon which we must build our constitutional democracy and it is only such strict compliance with the judgments of courts that will guarantee the stability of our democracy.
“While commending President Jonathan for taking this step to obey the rule of law, we encourage him to extend such strict compliance with the rule of law to all other actions of government”, the statement concluded.