By Hafsat Abdullahi
A pressure group, Citizens Watch Nigeria (CWN), has come hard on the senate for summoning the Chief of Army Staff (CoAS), Lt-Gen. Yusuf Burutai, over the proscription of Indigenous State of Biafra (IPoB) and issue of a dismissed officer, Lt. Col. Abdulfatai Mohammed.
This was contained in a statement releases yesterday in Abuja by the Executive Secretary, Citizens Watch Nigeria (CWN), Omoba Kenneth Aigbegbele.
On the case of the dismissed officer, Aigbegbele noted that senate summon of the COAS and the unprecedented action taken by the committee on ethics and privileges on a matter that is sub-judice at the National Industrial Court (NIC) is uncalled for.
He emphasized that for the records, the laws governing the military worldwide is quite different from that of civil laws, saying, ”When a personnel takes an oath of office to serve and protect the territorial integrity of the nation, he or she instantly becomes subject to military laws when the need arises and if peradventure he or she is punished or court marshaled under the law and approved by the highest military authority, then nothing can be done whatsoever to change that decision or judgement meted to the officer in question’’.
He said that an officer of that rank to have taken the COAS to an industrial court in military circle is an abomination and absolutely unacceptable anywhere in the world.
“The senate committee has no powers or right under the law to summon the COAS under a matter already in court and as if that is not enough, a military affair that has been dispensed and decision taken.
“The rules governing the military and the order through which the senate acted are entirely different and sub-judice”.
He canvassed that the committee on ethics erred by walking out a representative of the COAS who was sent because of the respect the COAS has for the Senate, knowing the enormous national task on his desk and that the senate has no power whatsoever to summon the army chief based on a case already in court according to the Senate standing rules.
The statement read in part, “The attention of Citizens Watch Nigeria (CWN), has been drawn to the recent outburst from the Senate to the Army on IPOB proscription and the dismissed officer, Lt. Col. Abdulfatai Mohammed.