About seven members of the All Progressives Congress in the Senate on Monday participated in the screening of the Service Chiefs recently appointed by President Goodluck Jonathan, in defiance of their political party’s directive.
The leadership of the APC had through a communique read by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, last Thursday directed their members in the National Assembly to block the passage of the budget, and the screening of new service chiefs and ministers.
However, Senators Akin Odunsi, Kabiru Marafa, Sani Saleh, Atai Aidoko, Babafemi Ojudu, Jubrilla Bindo, and Ajayi Boroffice, were among other senators, who participated actively in the joint committees of Defence, Army, Navy and Air Force to screen the new military chiefs on Monday.
Chairman of the joint committee, Senator George Sekibo, noted that the screening was the first to be carried out by the Senate since the return of Nigeria to civil rule despite the fact that there was a provision for it in Sections 217 to 219 of the 1999 Constitution as amended.
He added that past administrations in the country had not been sending names of service chiefs for confirmation despite that the National Assembly enacted Armed Forces Act 2004, which made it mandatory for the federal lawmakers to confirm the appointment of service chiefs.
Sekibo said, “The screening exercise today therefore is in fulfillment of the provisions of the constitution and the Armed Forces Act 2004 (Cap A.20 of the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria) which has been flouted since it was enacted.
“This exercise we are performing today would satisfy the provisions of the constitution and law, and completely put our Armed Forces under our democratic norms.”