The Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) says it had sued President Muhammadu Buhari over tenure elongation for Nigeria Service Chiefs.
Other respondents in the suit, filed at the Federal High Court, Abuja, are the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Abayomi Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai; his Air Force and Navy counterparts, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar; and Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas.
The Spokesman of the Coalition at a Press Conference on Tuesday, Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere, said his organisation had passed a vote of no confidence on the defendants, adding that their “continued stay in office has undermined national security and demoralised the troops.”
He regretted that five years after, the President was yet to “fulfil” his three key promises of tackling insecurity, fighting corruption and revamping the economy.
Ugochinyere admitted that the Nigerian leader is constitutionally empowered to hire and fire security heads, but he insisted that their ‘failure’ thereof falls squarely on the President too, as according to him, they have failed to secure the citizens and their properties.
According to him, “It is to forestall the impending danger that the opposition coalition, CUPP, has filed a lawsuit at the Federal High Court seeking among other things:
“A declaration that the service chiefs have attained the mandatory retirement age of 60 years or 35 years of service, and therefore due for retirement.
“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.”
He went on: “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.
“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 the further performance of duty forthwith.”
Ugochinyere further said: “An order of the court directing and compelling the President to direct the service chiefs to immediately proceed on one-month pre-retirement leave forthwith.
Last week, the Presidential Spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina had rebuffed the call by the Nigeria on the Service Chiefs to resign, insisting the appointment of Service Chiefs remains the prerogative of the President.
The resolution of the Senate, followed the voluntary retirement of over 240 soldiers fighting insurgency in the North Eastern part of Nigeria and the recent ambush of Nigeria troops in Kaduna, resuting in the death of 21 soldiers.