Nigerian senate shuns petitions, confirms controversial former service chiefs as ambassadors

The Nigerian Senate has ignored criticism of nominations of the immediate past service chiefs as non-career ambassadors, and on Tuesday confirmed their appointments, inspite of two petitions against the nominees and the complaints by some senators.

Penpushing reports that, President Muhammed Buhari through his media aide, Femi Adesina on February 4, announced that he (Buhari) had forwarded the ex-service chiefs’ names to the Senate for confirmation as non-career ambassadors.

They include former Chief of Defence Staff, Gabriel Olonisakin; former Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai; former Chief of Air Staff, Ibok Ibas; and former Chief of Naval Staff, Abubakar Sadique.

Penpushing further reports that, there were many allegations levelled against the officers ranging from the 2015 massacre of more than 340 members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), violent attacks on members of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), last October’s shooting of innocent Nigerians who took part in the #EndSARS protest at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos, the extrajudicial killings in Oyigbo, an Igbo settlement in Rivers State, among others

The allegations against the former military chiefs, who stepped down from service and immediately replaced, encouraged experts both foreign and local to have called on the National Assembly, and countries where they will be posted to reject them as Ambassadors

Penpushing also reports that, contrary to the expectations of many Nigerians, and outside the world, the controversial former service chiefs were confirmed, sequel to the adoption of the report of the committee which was presented by the chairperson of the committee, Muhammed Bulkachuwa.

The confirmation comes barely five days after they were screened by the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, and his presentation, the committee chairperson said the nominees were asked questions regarding their previous services and their recent nomination.

Penpushing also reports that, Bulkachuwa declared that, the nomination, is in line with Section 171(40) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, adding that the committee received two petitions against the appointment and confirmation of the nominees but the petitions were dismissed by the committee.

The committee chairperson, however, did not explain why the petitions were dismissed or whether the petitioners were invited to explain their stance, adding that “the police report received showed that the nominees have been cleared by the DSS. They presented their slip from the Code of Conduct Bureau and possess the requisite skills for the position’.

“Their experience as service chiefs makes them eminently capable for the position and they were knowledgeable and articulate in their response to questions posed by members of the panel,” he stated.

Penpushing reports that, the committee boss said the committee was satisfied with the performance of the nominees and their knowledge of international diplomacy, and  thereafter, asked the Senate to confirm the nominees.

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