The human rights lawyer however asked Muhammadu Buhari to forward the names of the nominated service chiefs to the National Assembly, Abuja for confirmation.
Mr. Falana who raised brow over the procedure in a statement on Wednesday, argued that the service chiefs should be subjected to the confirmation of the National Assembly.
“Upon a critical review of the law on the subject matter the members of the Alliance on Surviving COVID-19 and Beyond (ASCAP) have found that the appointments remain inchoate as President Muhammadu Buhari has not forwarded the names of the proposed service chiefs to the National Assembly for approval in strict compliance with the relevant provisions of the Constitution and the Armed Forces Act,” the statement by senior advocate partly read.
Referencing a 2013 judgement that described the appointments of service chiefs without the confirmation of the National Assembly as illegal and unconstitutional, Mr. Falana however concluded that the service chiefs were only nominated and not appointed.
“The appointments of service chiefs without the concurrence of the National Assembly which had been the practice since 1999 was challenged in the Federal High Court sometime in 2008 by Mr. Festus Keyamo SAN (the current Minister of State in the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity) in the case of Keyamo v President Goodluck Jonathan (unreported Suit No FHC/ABJ/ CS/611/2008).
“In his landmark judgment delivered on July 2, 2013, Adamu Bello J. (as he then was) held that it was illegal and unconstitutional, null and void for the President to single-handedly appoint Service Chiefs without the approval of the National Assembly having regards to the combined effect of Section 218 of the Constitution and section 18 (1) & (3) of the Armed Forces Act..,” the statement read.
Mr. Falana noted that the 2013 judgement was still binding in accordance with the provisions of section 287 of the Constitution, as the federal government did not challenge any aspect of it at the Court of Appeal.
The human rights lawyer however asked Mr. Buhari to forward the names of the nominated service chiefs to the National Assembly for confirmation.