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Military Pencils Down Over 50 Names For Promotion As Generals Bow



More than 50 names of military officers across the three services of the Nigerian Armed Forces – army, navy and the air force have been penciled down for promotion following the deadline given to top generals to exit the service, Daily Trust reliably learnt yesterday.

The officers, who are on the rank of brigadier generals and colonels respectively in the Nigerian Army and its equivalent in the navy and the air force, are expected to fill the vacant positions at various formations of the armed forces in the country.

Although the Military Council Board saddled with the responsibility of promotion approval is yet to sit, it was learnt that those to be considered for the promotion are of Regular Course 43 of the Nigerian Defence Academy.

Apart from the CDS who is a member of Regular Course 38, the three service chiefs – Maj.-Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, the Chief of Army Staff; Rear Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla, the Chief of Naval Staff and Air Vice Marshal Hassan Abubakar, the Chief of Air Staff are members of 39 RC of the NDA.

Daily Trust reports that the new development on promotion came following the July 3 (today) deadline given to the senior military officers by the Military High Command to voluntarily tender their resignations and exit the service.

The order, which was contained in a memo dated June 26 and signed by Maj.-Gen. Y. Yahaya on behalf of the Chief of Defence Staff, was directed to generals, brigadier generals, air vice marshals, and rear admirals in the three services, who are seniors to the new service chiefs.

A memo by the Defence Headquarters with reference number DHQ/I5/PLANS/801/13 explained that it was meant to preserve and uphold the tenets of the military profession which values hierarchy and service discipline.

The memo, copied to the army, navy and air force headquarters, directed all officers with seniority on commission above that of Regular Course 39 of the NDA to submit their applications for voluntary retirement from service with immediate effect.

Findings by Daily Trust revealed on Sunday that all members of 38 Regular Course of the NDA had submitted their voluntary retirement applications before the close of work on Friday as directed by the Defence Headquarters.

A senior military officer, who spoke to our correspondent on the condition of anonymity, said some members of 39 Regular Course of the NDA submitted their applications except those redeployed newly by the new service chiefs.

The source also explained that recommendations are already being made on those to be considered for the promotion in the three services, adding that the approval will come after the Military Council Board will have interviewed and ratified the names of those recommended.

In the same vein, a member of RC 43 who spoke anonymously also told Daily Trust that some members of RC 40, 41 and 42 have reached the rank of major generals, rear admirals and AVM, and they are currently filling the vacant positions in the latest shake-up.

He said, “Those positions that were left vacant have already been occupied or are in the process of being occupied, and the officers that are occupying those positions are already in the rank cadre. I mean they are already wearing the rank they require to occupy them.”

Tinubu to decorate new service chiefs

Speaking further, he said, “When the service chiefs are promoted, except they want to change the old order, their course mates cannot be promoted because we cannot have two captains in a boat. When the service chiefs are promoted to lieutenant generals, their course mates will remain major generals while they are still in service.”

Several calls to the telephone lines of army spokesman, Brig. Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu; the acting Director, Defence Information, Brig.-Gen. Tukur Gusau and the NAF spokesman, Air Commodore Ayodele Famuyiwa, went unanswered.

The trio were yet to reply to separate text messages sent to them.

But the spokesman of the Nigerian Navy, Commodore Adedotun Ayo-Vaughan, said, “I don’t know, I’m not aware. The promotion that normally comes at this time, except you’re talking about another one, is the service chiefs that have just resumed.

“Normally, when they resume office like this, and the National Assembly confirms them, then, the Chief of Defence Staff will be promoted to the four-star general (full general) while the Chief of Army Staff, Maj.-Gen. Lagbaja will be promoted to Lt.-Gen.

“Rear Admiral Ogalla will be promoted to vice admiral, while Air Vice Marshal Abubakar will be promoted to air marshal. That’s the only one we anticipate. I don’t know of any other one because promotion in the services comes at about this time when middle cadre officers are considered by the promotion board.

“Around the last quarter of the year, the senior officers or cadre are considered for 1-star and 2-star generals. That’s the only one I know and the timetable has not changed over the years. It cannot just change now.”

Army chief retains course mates

Meanwhile, the new Chief of Army Staff, Maj.-Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja has retained some of his course mates to work closely with at the headquarters in order to achieve the mandate of containing insecurity challenges.

Checks by Daily Trust showed that Maj.-Gen. Jimmy Akpor, the course mate of COAS, has now been appointed as the Chief of Administration at Army Headquarters, Abuja.

In a statement on Saturday by the army spokesman, Brig.-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, the deployment of Akpor and other officers will take effect today.


Tribunal upholds Gov. Alia’s election



Gov Alia Hyacinth Alia

The Benue State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal in Makurdi on Saturday upheld the victory of Gov. Hyacinth Alia of the APC in the March 18 Governorship Election.

Delivering the judgment, the Chairman of the panel, Justice Ibrahim Karaye, held that the tribunal lacked jurisdiction to entertain pre election issues raised by the petitioners, Titus Uba and PDP.

Karaye, who read the unanimous judgment, stated that only the Federal High Court had the exclusive jurisdiction to entertain issues bordering on pre-election matters.

He further said the petitioners’ case was also an abuse of court processes because the same case was filed by the petitioners before the Federal High Court Abuja Division and its judgment was not challenged by the petitioners.

He said the petitioners lacked locus standi to challenge the nomination of the 2nd and 3rd respondents by the 4th respondent since they were not members of the 4th respondent.

Justice Karaye further said that the petitioners failed to prove their allegations of forgery against the 3rd respondent before the tribunal.

He said the 2nd and 3rd respondents were qualified to contest the March 18 Governorship Election and therefore, dismissed the case.

The petitioners, Titus Uba and the PDP, had dragged the respondents, INEC, Hyacinth Alia, Dr Sam Ode, and the APC before the tribunal, challenging their declaration by the INEC.

The petitioners argued that the 2nd and 3rd respondents, Gov Alia and Dr Ode, were at the time of contesting the election, not qualified to contest the March 18 Governorship Election.

They averred that the 4th respondent – the APC – did not follow the provisions of the law in the nomination of the governorship and deputy governorship candidates.

They also alleged that the 3rd respondent had presented a forged certificate to the 1st respondent, INEC, therefore, should be disqualified.

They, therefore, prayed among other things, for the nullification of their election and declare the petitioners as winners of the election, having scored second highest lawful votes.

The also contended that having not qualified to contest the election, their votes should be declared invalid and certificates earlier issued to them by INEC be withdrawn.

NAN reports that the petitioners in the suit did not challenge the result of the March 18 Benue Governorship Election but qualifications of the candidates.

However, the respondents in their counter arguments, urged the tribunal to dismiss the suit in its entirety as it was an abuse of court processes.

The respondents stated that the Federal High Court Abuja Division, had before the election, delivered judgment on the same matter which was filed by the petitioners but they did not appeal the judgment till date.

They also said that the issues raised were all pre election matter and only the Federal High Court had the exclusive jurisdiction to entertain same.

The 2nd and 3rd respondents clearly stated that since the prayers sought by the petitioners were all pre-election matters, the petitioners case was status bar and should be struck out.

They said the petitioners lacked locus standi to challenge the nomination of candidates of other political parties as they were mere meddlesome interlopers.

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LASTMA, others combat Ilupeju industrial fire outbreak



The operatives of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) and other emergency responders at early hour on Saturday combated an industrial fire outbreak at Mega Plastics Company at No.4, Ilupeju Bypass.

Mr Taofiq Adebayo, the Director, Public Affairs and Enlightenment Department of LASTMA, made the disclosure in a statement in Lagos on Saturday.

Adebayo stated that the industrial fire outbreak took place at Mega Plastics Company at No.4, Ilupeju Bypass beside Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Ilupeju area of Lagos.

“The Traffic Officer of LASTMA, Mr Ayo Olaosebikan (Falcon) of Zone 21, confirmed that LASTMA rescue team arrived at the scene of the industrial fire outbreak around at 6:30a.m. before other emergency responders were contacted by LASTMA.

“Immediately we arrived at the scene of the industrial fire, we quickly informed other emergency responders particularly the Lagos State Fire, Rescue Services and the Nigerian Police.

“The causes of industrial fire could not be immediately ascertained, he said.
Olaosebikan noted that preliminary investigation revealed that the storage and factory section of the petrochemical company were seriously affected by the fire outbreak.

According to him, emergency responders on ground include Federal and State Fire Services, policemen and LASTMA Response Unit.

Olaosebikan said that neither injury nor death had been recorded.

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