Court okays suit seeking removal of Chief of Army Staff

A suit seeking to compel President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately sack the Chief of Army Staff, General Faruk Yahaya, has received the backings of the Abuja division of the Federal High Court.

The suit is a follow-up to the judgment that convicted and sentenced him to prison for contempt.

A High Court in Niger State had in a ruling it delivered on November 30, ordered that the Army Chief should be remanded at the prison in Minna.

Justice Halima Ibrahim Abdulmalik, who gave the ruling, ordered that General Yahaya should be remanded alongside the Commandant Training and Doctrine Command Minna, Major General Stevenson Olugbenga Olabanji, for willfully disobeying an order it made on October 12, 2022.

In the fresh action, a constitutional lawyer, Mr. Jideobi Johnmary, has approached the high court, asking it to determine; “whether having regard to the provision of Section 287(3) of the amended 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is possessed of the constitutional powers to appoint as the Chief of Army Staff, a man who has been convicted and serving jail term as a result of the sentence imposed on him by a Court of competent jurisdiction following his conviction for the crime of contempt of court?

As well as, “whether having regard to the provision of Section 287(3) of the amended 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the 1st Defendant, who has been convicted and sentenced to prison, on the 30th day of November, 2022, by the High Court of Niger State of Nigeria, can continue to validly discharge the functions and exercise the powers of the Chief of Army Staff of the Nigerian Army established by the Constitution?”.

Aside from General Yahaha, also cited as 2nd and 3rd defendants in the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/2236/2022, are President Muhammadu Buhari and the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN).

No date has been fixed for hearing of the suit.

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