Senate President Abubakar Bukola Saraki

The Nigerian Army followed laid down rules in the appointment of Shuaibu Ibrahim as the new Director-General of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), an investigation by the Senate has revealed.

A report from the Senate investigation notes that the appointment followed due process as laid down in the NYSC Act CAP L84 LFN 2004 which stipulates processes of appointing a new DG.

Mr Ibrahim’s appointment was announced via a statement signed by the Army spokesperson, Sagir Musa, on April 26.

The statement noted that the former DG, Sulaiman Kazaure, had been deployed to the Nigerian Army Resource Centre as Senior Resource Person.

The announcement was followed by criticisms by Nigerians questioning the authority of the Army in appointing the DG.

The matter was brought to the attention of the Senate on Tuesday, April 30, by Dino Melaye (Kogi-PDP).

Mr Melaye said the appointment was an ‘infraction’ of existing laws.

He said, “There has been an infraction perpetrated by the Chief of Army staff in appointing a new Director-General for the NYSC. According to Section 5 of the NYSC Act, A Director-General is to be appointed by the President. The Chief of Army Staff through signal removed the DG of NYSC and through signal appointed his replacement.

“The Act gave authority to the President. Previous Directors-General were appointed by the President. We are not in a banana republic. NYSC is not a formation of the Nigerian Army but on the enactment of the National Assembly.”

Following the adoption of his prayer, the Senate Committee on Youth and Sports was mandated to investigate the issue.

Presenting the report of the committee on Tuesday, Chairman of the committee, Obinna Ogba, said the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) was invited to explain the appointment.

He said the COAS was represented by J.A.T Ochegbu, Army’s Acting Secretary, who made written and oral presentations.

Mr Ogba said the committee established that the Army nominated three suitable and qualified candidates to the president to choose from.

Their nomination was conveyed to the President through the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, via a letter dated February 13, 2019.

The Minister confirmed to the COAS the president’s approval of Mr Ibrahim via a letter dated 18 April 2019.

Based on this, the committee found out that the appointment was in accordance with the provisions of the NYSC Act as no law was violated.

“This is the same procedure used in posting previous DGs of NYSC. The committee hereby recommends that due process was followed in the appointment,” Mr Ogba said.

The lawmakers unanimously adopted the report of the committee.

The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, commended the committee for its timely work and the Senate for quick intervention.

“That is why we are here, at all times to ensure that the interest of Nigerians and due process is followed. If there are many more like this, that affects Nigerians, we must play our roles in ensuring that we bring it to attention of us here and we do our own work,” he said.

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