Foremost Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, says he will file a suit to challenge President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision not to sack service chiefs.
This follows refusal from the presidency to heed to calls from various quarters to sack military chiefs in the country over the state of insecurity — In response to the calls, the presidency had said those protesting against service chiefs are beneficiaries of Boko Haram insurgency.
Falana who appeared as a guest on Channels TV on Monday, described the statement by the presidency cautioning citizens from protesting against the service chiefs as “embarrassing”.
He said, “Under the public service rule, under the harmonised rules for military officers in Nigeria and under Section 6 of the armed forces act, which empowers the President to make rules and regulations for the military, there is no provision for extension of tenure (for Service Chiefs) beyond the period stipulated by law. ”
“It has been done in the past, but that does not make it right. There is equality before the law, so you can’t extend the service of certain officers while you ask others to go after 35 years of service or the attainment of 60 years of age. To the best of my knowledge, a suit will be filed during the week, in respect of this matter.
“The President must be prevailed upon to appreciate that we may also be undergoing what you might describe as internal sabotage (in the fight against insurgency) by many members of the armed forces who simply feel since these are the people who can stop insurgency or terrorism, let them go ahead. Because the Chief of Army Staff himself has had to accuse members of the armed forces of not doing enough.”
It is worthy of note that Gabriel Olonisakin, chief of defence staff; Tukur Buratai, chief of army staff; Sadique Abubakar, chief of air staff, and Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas, chief of naval staff have spent more than 35 years in service and are due for retirement.