Nigerian Political Parties Drag President Buhari To Court Over Expired Tenures Of Service Chiefs
A group of political parties in Nigeria under the name of ‘Coalition of United Political Parties’ (CUPP) has dragged President Muhammadu Buhari to court over the tenure elongation of service chiefs.
Also dragged to court with the President are, Gen. Abayomi Olonisakin, Lt. Gen. Tukur Yusuf Buratai, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar and Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas.
The group is seeking an order to stop President Buhari from extending the tenure of the service chiefs and also stop the service chiefs from continued stay in the office
Addressing newsmen in Abuja, the spokesman of CUPP, Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere, passed a vote of no confidence on the service chiefs, adding that their continued stay in the office undermine the national security, demoralizes the troops and also the cause of mass resignation of soldiers.
He pointed out that five years after President Buhari came to power, his three key promise of tackling security situation in the country, fighting corruption and ravamping the economy have not be met.
Ugochinyere said: “Five years down the line, Nigerians are not in doubt anymore that they have fallen victim to political yahoo yahoo, they are victims of one chance and this regime has picked the pocket of Nigerians.
“Under the watch of this regime, Nigeria has been turned into a killing field. The colour of our rivers is now red with the blood of innocent citizens.
“The regime has failed in its fulfillment of the primary purpose of government which is the protection of lives and properties of citizens.
“We now have different nomenclature for different theatres of blood in the country. In the North East it is called insurgency. In the North West it is called banditry. In the North Central it is called herders farmers clash while in the Southern states it is referred to as kidnapping.
“By the provision of the Constitution, the President has the unfettered powers to appoint in line with the law heads of all security agencies in the country. These appointments include those of the Service Chiefs which are the Chief of Defence Staff, Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Navy Staff and chief of Air Staff.
“The only guides provided by the Constitution are contained in Sections 217, 218, 219 and 220 of the Constitution.
“It therefore means that the failure of the security falls squarely on the table of the President and on the basis of the failure to provide basic security for Nigerians, we have passed a Vote of no confidence on President Muhammadu Buhari and on his appointed Service Chiefs, as their continued stay undermines national security, demoralizes troops and a cause of mass resignation and public complaints by solders which cause more damage to our democracy.
“It is to forestall the impending danger that the Opposition Coalition CUPP has filed a law suit at the Federal High Court seeking among other things:
“1. A DECLARATION that the Service Chiefs have attained the mandatory retirement ages of 60 years or 35 years of service and therefore due for retirement. “2. A DECLARATION that the Service Chiefs having attained the mandatory retirement age of 60 years or 35 years of service in the Nigerian Armed Forces CANNOT lawfully have their services extended by the President or continue to perform any duty pertaining to their respective offices in the Armed Forces of the Federation.
“3. A DECLARATION that upon the attainment of the mandatory retirement age of 60 years or 35 years of service in the Armed Forces of the Federation, the Service Chiefs CANNOT be deemed or taken to be serving members of the Armed Forces of the Federation and therefore cannot lawfully remain in service.
“4. A DECLARATION that the Service Chiefs are due for statutory retirement upon their respective attainment of 60 years or 35 years of service in the Armed Forces of the Federation and ought to immediately proceed on one month pre-retirement leave and stop further performance of duty forthwith.
“5. AN ORDER OF COURT directing and compelling the President to direct the Service Chiefs to immediately proceed on one month pre-retirement leave forthwith.”
Alternatively, the CUPP said that “AN ORDER OF COURT directing and compelling the Service Chiefs to forthwith stop performing any duties or exercising any powers of the offices of Chief of Defence Staff, Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Air Staff and Chief of Naval Staff of the Armed Forces of the Federation respectively.
“6. AN ORDER of Perpetual Injunction restraining the President from further re-appointing or in any other manner extending the services of the Service Chiefs in the Armed Forces of the Federation.
“The Nigerian opposition cannot continue to indulge this President and believe that he will change. This President still has close to three years left for his regime to constitutionally run out. We can no longer stand on the sidelines and watch him destroy our country irreversibly.
“We must put all hands on deck to make this country work whether the President likes it or not. We believe that the Federal High Court will grant our prayers and invariably terminate the illegal extension of the tenures of the Service Chiefs, cause a legitimate chagnge of guard and revitalize the very low morale of troops at the various theatres.
“The president has an opportunity before the Court delivers its judgment to prove he is Commander in Chief and command with the right people that have the capacity. The President has not only failed by failing to exercise the right to hire and fire, but it is shameful in failing to respect the Constitution on tenure of the Service Chiefs and that is unacceptable and will be fought through the law.”