FILE PHOTO: Nigeria Security Chiefs: they have overstayed more than the law allows, says Falana

Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana said President Muhammadu Buhari has breached the law by not terminating the appointment of the current security Service Chiefs.

Mr Falana, who appeared on Channels TV Sunrise Daily on Monday, argued that the laws regulating military officers require the retirement of military officers who have served for 35 years or have reached the age of 60.

He added that a lawsuit would be filed this week in respect of the matter.

In an interview that lasted more than 20 minutes, Mr Falana also said President Buhari “must be prevailed upon” to acknowledge the possibility of “internal sabotage” within the military in the war against insurgency.

“Under the public service rule, under the harmonised rules for military officers in Nigeria and under Section 6 of the Armed Forces Act, which empowers the President to make rules and regulations for the military, there is no provision for extension of tenure (for Service Chiefs) beyond the period stipulated by law. It has been done in the past, but that does not make it right. There is equality before the law, so you can’t extend the service of certain officers while you ask others to go after 35 years of service or the attainment of 60 years of age.

“To the best of my knowledge, a suit will be filed during the week, in respect of this matter.

“The President must be prevailed upon to appreciate that we may also be undergoing what you might describe as internal sabotage (in the fight against insurgency) by many members of the armed forces who simply feel since these are the people who can stop insurgency or terrorism, let them go ahead. Because the Chief of Army Staff himself has had an occasion to accuse members of the armed forces of not doing enough.

“The Service Chiefs are retiring officers who have served for 35 years or have reached the age of 60 – it is their fault not to appeal to the President for them to go or to resign.