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MINISTER HALTS NEW APPOINTMENTS IN ARMED FORCES

By NBF News

A memo from the Minister of Defence, Mr. Adetokunbo Kayode, to the service chiefs of the armed forces may have hampered the newly appointed service chiefs from making any key appointments.

Daily Sun learnt that the standing order was issued about three months ago following a spate of controversial appointments to key positions in the military by some of the immediate past service chiefs. The appointments were said to have been skewed.

The minister's memo made it mandatory for service chiefs to seek clearance with him before making any appointment for officers in the ranks of colonels and above and their equivalents in the navy and air force.

Having taken over command of their various services, the new chiefs were expected to appoint General Officers Commanding (GOC), Flag Officers Commanding (FOC) and Air Officers Commanding (AOC) for the army, navy and air force respectively.

They were also expected to appoint Principal Staff Officers (PSO), at the services headquarters, directors, unit commanders, among other key positions, to carry out their duties effectively. Military sources told Daily Sun that the memo by the minister was greeted with relief by service personnel who said some of the immediate service chiefs did not consider federal character when making the appointments. With the new order, they expressed hope that appointment in the armed forces would be done purely on merit.

Sources, however, said key appointmnts might be released any moment from now since the minister, who travelled with the former Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Abdulrahamaan Bello Dambazau, to the United States of America when president Goodluck Jonathan announced the changes of service chiefs in the armed forces on September 8, had returned.

Following his return, the service chiefs would be expected to forward names of officers they had nominated for key positions after which it would be officially released.