The Federal House of Representatives on Wednesday conducted the screening of new service chiefs designate of the Armed forces.
The service chiefs were screened behind closed doors for security reasons, according to Chairman of the House Committee on Defence, Babajimi Benson, affirmed on Monday, he said the exercise will cover wide range of areas such as Professional skill and experience, Nigeria’s war on terror and insurgency, funding of the military, strategic security knowledge, and welfare of military personnel among others.
Benson, however, noted that the House and the Senate would conduct a parallel exercise. He said while the opening session would be open, the proper screening would be done in secret.
He said, “You know that for security issues, you don’t want to put information out there that the enemy will use against us. We will make some opening remarks but the main ‘question and answer’ session (would be behind closed doors).
“Nigerians should rest assure that we have moved (and adopted) several motions on insecurity and those resolutions are uppermost in our mind. We want safety and security to return to our national life. We are mindful of all that.”
The Senate committees responsible with oversight over Nigerian military are also billed to conduct a closed-door, separate screening exercise this week.
They are Maj. Gen. Lucky Eluonye Onyenuchea lrabor – Chief of Defence Staff; Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru – Chief of Army Staff; Rear Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo – Chief of Naval Staff; and Air Vice Marshal Isiaka O. Amao – Chief of Air staff.
They are to replace the former Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas; and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar.
Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, had last Wednesday read a letter from the President Muhammadu Buhari, seeking the confirmation of the new service chiefs.
Buhari’s letter was dated January 27, 2021, while the stamp on the acknowledgement copy indicated that it was received on February 5, 2021.
Gbajabiamila later constituted a panel made up of chairmen, deputy chairmen and some members of the military-related standing committees, to be led by Chairman of the House Committee on Defence, Mr Babajimi Benson.
Minister of defense Bashir Magashi in a remark restated that the armed forces is more than ever, ready to confront and checkmate the various security challenges in the country to ensure peaceful coexistence for law abiding citizens.
The four service chiefs nominees, Major General Lucky Irabor, Major General Ibrahim Attahiru, Rear Admiral Aiwal Gambo and Air Vice Marshal Isiaka Amao were present for the screening held behind closed doors.