Senate confirms appointment of service chiefs
The Senate on Thursday confirmed the appointment of the four service chiefs nominated by President Goodluck Jonathan.
The service chiefs confirmed by the senate include: Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshall Alex Badeh; Chief of Army Staff, Major General Kenneth Minimah; Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Usman Jibrin and Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshall Adesola Amosu.
Interestingly, the directive from the All Progressives Congress (APC) for its members to block the approval had no effect as the opposition did not raise any objection during the consideration of the report on the screening of the service chiefs.
Their confirmation followed the consideration of the report of the Senate Joint Committee on Defence/Army, Navy and Air Force that screened the nominees.
The committee gave the nominees clean bill of health, prompting smooth confirmation by the upper chamber.
The Chairman of the Committee, Senator George Sekibo, while presenting the report said, 'Having assessed the four nominees thoroughly and found them fit for the leadership of their respective services, the Joint Committee wishes to recommend that the Senate do confirm and approve their appointment and decoration by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as Service Chiefs.'
The Senate cleared the military chiefs without a dissenting voice.
The Senate Minority Leader, Sen. George Akume, explained that the APC was not against their appointments.
'I wish to state here that we at the other side are in full support of the appointments of Chief of Defence Staff and service chief,' Akume said.
While encouraging The Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over the plenary, urged the new service chiefs to put their wealth of experience into use in the discharge of their duties.
He also charged them to justify the confidence reposed in them by Nigerians.
President Goodluck Jonathan had on January 16, nominated, Air Marshal Alex Badeh as the new CDS to replace, Admiral Ola Sa'ad Ibrahim.
He also nomiated Maj. Gen Tobiah Minimah, as Chief of Army Staff; Rear Admiral Usman Jibrin, as Chief of Naval Staff, and Vice Marshal Adesola Amosu, as Chief of Air Staff.
They replaced Lt.-Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika, (COAS); Vice Admiral Dele Ezeoba, (CNS), and Badeh, who was elevated to CDS.
For the first time in Nigeria's history, President Jonathan had forwarded the names of the service chiefs to the Senate for confirmation.
Prior to this, their appointments were just made without approval from the Senate.
But radical lawyer Festus Keyamo had recently obtained a court ruling which had declared that the appointment of service chiefs must be submitted for approval by the Senate.
The officers have since assumed duties in their new offices.