A suit filed by the Minister of state at the Ministry of Labour and Productivity, Festus Keyamo may be used by human rights organisations to bar the newly appointed Service Chiefs from office.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday appointed new Service Chiefs to replace those who have served for over five years.
The new Chiefs are: Major General Lucky Iraboh as the new Chief of Defence Staff ( CDS), Major General Ibrahim Attahiru, the Chief of Army Staff ( COAS), Rear Admiral Auwal Gambo as the Chief of Naval Staff ( CNS) and Air Vice Marshal Dayo Amao, Chief of the Air Staff ( CAS).
However, in a landmark judgement to a suit filed by Mr Keyamo, the new Service Chiefs should have been screened by the National Assembly before taking over the nation’s security apparatus.
In 2008, Mr Keyamo had challenged former president, Goodluck Jonathan over the appointment of Service Chiefs without the concurrence of the National Assembly.
The case, Keyamo v President Goodluck Jonathan with an unreported suit No FHC/ABJ/CS/611/2008 before Justice Adamu Bello J, held that it was illegal for the president to single handedly appoint Service Chiefs without the approval of the national assembly.
“In his landmark judgment delivered on July 2, 2013, Adamu Bello J. (as he then was) held that it was illegal and unconstitutional, null and void for the President to single handedly appointed Service Chiefs without the approval of the national assembly having regards to the combined effect of section 218 of the Constitution and section 18 (1) & (3) of the Armed Forces Act,” Femi Fálànà (SAN) a constitutional lawyer said.
Mr Falana said it was because the judgment was sound and unimpeachable the federal government did not challenge any aspect of it at the Court of Appeal.
Mr. Fálànà said the appointments of the new Chiefs remains a nomination since the president has yet to forward the nominations to the National Assembly for approval.
When contacted, Mr. Keyamo said he stands by the judgement since it has not been appealed.