Lawyer petitions Buhari, others over alleged illegal stay of service chiefs in office
A constitutional lawyer and principal partner, Mackay Chambers and Associates, Barrister Daniel D. Makolo, has petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari and several others over alleged illegal stay of Service Chiefs in office.
In a letter dated June 25 and tagged, ‘Offices of the current occupants of the offices of the Chief of Defense Staff, Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Naval Staff and Chief of Air Staff are arbitrary, immoral, wrongful and unlawful, therefore illegal’, Makolo said the petition aimed at reminding Mr. President that the constitutionally stipulated public service period of the listed officers as officers in the Armed Forces of Federation of Nigeria came to an end a long time ago.
He urged President Buhari to order the affected officers to proceed on their retirement forthwith. He called for nullification of all actions taken by the officers after the expiration of their constitutionally stipulated period of lawful service in the Armed Forces as well compel them to refund of all disbursements including extra salaries and allowances drawn from the Federal Public Service of the Federation account.
“The continuous stay in the public service office of the Federation by these officers of the Nigeria Armed Forces after the end of their statutory public service period is arbitrary, illegal, immoral, wrongful and unlawful.
“My legal researches so far point to the fact that the public service of the Federation is statutorily designed with specific provisions for entry and exit lawfully. The practice of illegal elongation of the statutory tenure of office of any public officer is counter-productive, demoralizing and detrimental to career progression of officers in public service generally with dangerous consequences”, Makolo stated.
He added that the Practice of arbitrary and illegal elongation of statutory tenure of public office occupants set dangerous precedent for the country’s bureaucracy and national security.
“The implication is that any ambitious officer in the service looking forward to be considered for such office in future will no longer strive to give his or her best. Apart from setting the stage for anarchy, the office and our national security will suffer enormous negative consequences.
“Our frail nation cannot afford to pay the overall price of such brazen constitutional violations at the end of the day. Tenure elongation for public servant with statutorily stipulated period of service is unlawful. It is therefore illegal and all actions of such officers after his or her lawful tenure ended is not only voidable but in fact, null and void”, he said.
Adding: “Our dear President, this letter is demanding that you perform your duty as the Chairman, National Defense Council, the Chairman; National Security Council and the Commander in- Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria in terms of the above.
“Herein, their continued stay in office in the same capacity is a violation of Nigerian Constitution with impunity, which is undermining the moral of the serving officers with dangerous consequences on the national security of our fragile nation”, Makolo held.