Senate confirms Buratai, others as ambassadors
The Nigerian Senate on Tuesday confirm the nomination of four former service chiefs as non-career ambassadors.
General Abayomi G. Olonisakin, Lt. General Tukur Y. Buratai, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete E. Ibas and Air Marshal Sadique B. Abubakar were removed as service chiefs on February and were subsequently nominated as non-career ambassadors by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The nomination of another retired military chief Air Vice Marshal Muhammad S. Usman was also confirmed.
“These nominees that we have just confirmed are nominees that have served this country to the best of their ability. Our appeal to the Executive is to make sure they use their experiences as military men to the best,” Senate President Ahmed Lawan said.
While presenting the report of the senate committee which screened the nominees, chairman of the committee Muhammed Bulkachuwa said two petitions against the appointment and confirmation of the nominees were received. The petitions were dismissed by the committee.
Bulkachuwa said the nominees were asked questions regarding their previous services and their recent nomination.
He said their nominations conformed with Section 171(40) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Bulkachuwa said the committee was satisfied with their performance and their knowledge of international diplomacy.
But the Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe (PDP, Abia), questioned why the petitions were dismissed.
He said the Senate on three occasions, took resolutions that the nominees be removed as service chiefs and for them to be brought back to be confirmed for another position demands explanation.
But the senate president said having looked through the said resolutions the nominations cannot be nullified because they only asked the President to change the service chief which was done.
“If they are nominated for a different position, our resolution will not apply. What we have to do is to advise the executive to use the past experience of the ex-service chiefs in their new positions,” Lawan said.
“The nomination cannot be nullified because we said they should be changed.”
The former service chiefs were nominated barely two weeks after they were removed from service and their replacements announced.
Their nominations were trailed by condemnation, with many Nigerians claiming that the president’s decision was aimed at shielding the former military officials from possible prosecution, especially by the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
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