President Tinubu Removes Service Chiefs, Appoints Fresh Leadership; INEC Accused of Frustrating Labour Party’s Election Petition | 5 Things That Should Matter Today

  • President Tinubu Removes Service Chiefs, Appoints Fresh Leadership
  • INEC Accused of Frustrating Labour Party’s Election Petition
  • President Tinubu Dissolves Governing Boards of Federal Government Parastatals and Agencies
  • New Service Chiefs’ Appointment Based on Merit, Says Tinubu’s Spokesperson
  • President Tinubu Announces Special Advisers for Culture, National Assembly, and Policy Coordination

Across Nigeria’s 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, these are the five top Nigerian news stories you shouldn’t miss

President Tinubu Removes Service Chiefs, Appoints Fresh Leadership

In a decisive move, President Bola Tinubu has taken swift action to revamp Nigeria’s security apparatus by removing all service chiefs and the Inspector-General of Police. This unprecedented shakeup, just three weeks after his inauguration, signals Tinubu’s commitment to addressing the pressing security challenges facing the nation.

A statement issued by Willie Bassey, the Director of Information on behalf of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), George Akume, confirmed the retirements and appointments. The service chiefs who have been removed include Alkali Usman, the Inspector-General of Police; Lucky Irabor, Chief of Defence Staff; Faruk Yahaya, Chief of Army Staff; Awwal Gambo, Chief of Naval Staff; and Isiaka Amao, Chief of Air Staff.

President Tinubu wasted no time in naming their replacements. Maj. Gen. C.G Musa is now the Chief of Defence Staff, Maj. Gen T. A Lagbaja assumes the position of Chief of Army Staff, Rear Admiral E. A Ogalla becomes the Chief of Naval Staff, AVM H.B Abubakar takes on the role of Chief of Air Staff, DIG Kayode Egbetokun steps in as the Acting Inspector-General of Police, and Maj. Gen. EPA Undiandeye assumes the role of Chief of Defense Intelligence.

Furthermore, in a significant appointment, former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nuhu Ribadu, has been named as the new National Security Adviser (NSA), succeeding Babagana Monguno.

The reorganization of the security architecture follows persistent calls from civil society organizations for a fresh approach in handling the nation’s security challenges. Nigeria has faced significant security threats, with verifiable data showing that over 55,000 lives were lost to terrorism, banditry, and armed gangs during the previous administration.

President Tinubu, in his inauguration speech, pledged to prioritize national security and defend the nation against all forms of criminality and terrorism. The appointment of new service chiefs and the revamping of the security doctrine and architecture align with his commitment to address these pressing issues.

It is important to note that the appointed service chiefs, the Inspector-General of Police, and the Comptroller General of Customs will act in their positions pending confirmation in accordance with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as emphasized by Bassey.

See full list:

Newly appointed Service Chiefs
1Mallam Nuhu RibaduNational Security Adviser (NSA)
2Maj. Gen. C.G MusaChief of Defence Staff (CDS)
3Maj. Gen. T. A LagbajaChief of Army Staff (COAS)
4Rear Admiral E. A OgallaChief of Naval Staff (CNS)
5AVM H.B AbubakarChief of Air Staff (CAS)
6DIG Kayode EgbetokunAg Inspector-General of Police
7Maj. Gen. EPA UndiandeyeChief of Defense Intelligence
Other appointments
1Col. Adebisi OnasanyaBrigade of Guards Commander
2Lt. Col. Moshood Abiodun Yusuf7 Guards Battalion, Asokoro, Abuja
3Lt. Col. Auwalu Baba Inuwa177, Guards Battalion, Keffi, Nasarawa State
4Lt. Col. Mohammed J. Abdulkarim102 Guards Battalion, Suleja, Niger
5Lt. Col. Olumide A. Akingbesote176 Guards Battalion, Gwagwalada, Abuja
6Maj.  Isa Farouk Audu (N/14695)Commanding Officer State House Artillery
7Capt. Kazeem Olalekan Sunmonu (N/16183)Second-in-Command, State House Artillery
8Maj. Kamaru Koyejo Hamzat (N/14656)Commanding Officer, State House Military Intelligence
9Maj. T. S. Adeola (N/12860)Commanding Officer, State House Armament
10Lt. A. Aminu (N/18578)Second-in- Command, State House Armament
11Hadiza Bala UsmanSpecial Adviser, Policy Coordination
12Hannatu  Musa MusawaSpecial Adviser, Culture and Entertainment Economy
13Sen. Abdullahi Abubakar GumelSenior Special Assistant , National Assembly Matters  (Senate)
14Hon. (Barr) Olarewaju Kunle IbrahimSenior Special Assistant, National Assembly Matters  (HoR)

INEC Accused of Frustrating Labour Party’s Election Petition

The Labour Party (LP) and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, have raised accusations against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), claiming that the commission is intentionally hindering their case challenging the outcome of the February 25 election that saw Bola Tinubu elected as Nigeria’s president.

During a court session on Monday, Jibrin Okutepa, the petitioners’ counsel, informed the court that INEC was withholding requested documents, thereby holding their legal team “hostage.” Okutepa expressed the challenging experience they have faced and appealed to the court for assistance, stating, “We have done everything humanly possible, including letter writing, and persuasion, and it seems to us that we need to come before your lordships to come to our aid.”

Okutepa revealed that they recently received some copies of IREV reports for specific local government areas in Lagos and Gombe, but these documents were certified on May 29, yet only provided on the present date. He emphasized that their repeated letters requesting the necessary documents, including a personally signed letter delivered on May 20, were acknowledged by INEC but not acted upon. Furthermore, INEC reportedly refused to accept the subpoenas issued to them.

Okutepa expressed his belief that INEC was deliberately frustrating their efforts, stating, “It appears that INEC is deliberately frustrating us… We have nowhere to cry to except to your lordships.”

In response, Abubakar Mahmoud, INEC counsel, dismissed Okutepa’s allegations as “unfounded.” He mentioned receiving only one letter from the petitioner’s lead counsel, Livy Uzoukwu, on May 15, which he claimed to have promptly replied to on the same day. Mahmoud stated that he did not receive any other communication from the counsel and highlighted that there are proper procedures and costs for obtaining documents, which the petitioners are aware of.

Uzoukwu, however, denied receiving any response to his letter and requested the court to issue an order compelling INEC to comply with the subpoena and produce the requested documents.

Addressing the parties involved, the justices on the five-member panel emphasized the importance of cooperation and urged the lawyers to resolve issues amicably. They stressed the need for cooperation rather than resorting to bureaucratic processes and complaints in court.

President Tinubu Dissolves Governing Boards of Federal Government Parastatals and Agencies

In a significant move, President Bola Tinubu has approved the immediate dissolution of the governing boards of all federal government parastatals, agencies, institutions, and government-owned companies. This decision, made in the public interest and in line with constitutional powers, aims to bring about necessary changes and ensure effective governance.

According to a statement signed by Willie Bassey, the Director of Information for the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, the dissolution excludes boards, commissions, and councils specified in the Third Schedule, Part 1, Section 153 (i) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended.

During this transitional period until new boards are constituted, the chief executive officers of the affected entities are instructed to refer matters requiring board attention directly to the President through the Permanent Secretaries of their respective supervisory ministries and offices. The Permanent Secretaries, in turn, are directed to route such correspondences through the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation for further action by the President.

The directive, which took effect from Friday, June 16, 2023, requires full compliance from all Ministries, Departments, and Agencies. Permanent Secretaries are specifically tasked with informing the chief executive officers of the affected agencies under their respective ministries/offices to ensure immediate compliance.

New Service Chiefs’ Appointment Based on Merit, Says Tinubu’s Spokesperson

Bayo Onanuga, the Director of Media and Publicity for the defunct Tinubu-Shettima Campaign Organisation, addressed claims of nepotism surrounding the appointment of new Service Chiefs by President Bola Tinubu. Onanuga took to Twitter on Monday to clarify that the appointments were not based on favoritism.

In his statement, Onanuga pointed out that the newly appointed Rear Admiral Emmanuel Ikechukwu Ogalla, Chief of Naval Staff, hails from the South East (Enugu), while Maj. Gen. EPA Undiandeye, Chief of Defense Intelligence, is from the South-South (Obudu, Cross River State). He emphasized that the appointments span across the major geo-political zones of the country.

Onanuga provided a breakdown of the state/region of each service chief, highlighting their diversity: Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, National Security Adviser (North-Adamawa); Maj. Gen. C.G Musa, Chief of Defence Staff (North-Southern Kaduna); Maj. Gen. Taoreed Abiodun Lagbaja, Chief of Army Staff (South West); Rear Admiral Emmanuel Ikechukwu Ogalla, Chief of Naval Staff (South East-Enugu); AVM H.B Abubakar, Chief of Air Staff (North); DIG Kayode Egbetokun, Acting Inspector-General of Police (South West); and Maj. Gen. EPA Undiandeye, Chief of Defense Intelligence (South-South- Obudu Cross River State).

Onanuga urged critics to gather accurate information before rushing to judgment, highlighting the Chief of Naval Staff’s Igbo Eze North LGA of Enugu State origin and the Chief of Intelligence’s Cross River background. He suggested that critics should delve deeper into the facts rather than making hasty accusations of nepotism against the Tinubu government.

President Tinubu Announces Special Advisers for Culture, National Assembly, and Policy Coordination

President Bola Tinubu has made further appointments, expanding his team with individuals who will serve in key advisory roles. The recent appointments include Hadiza Bala Usman, the former managing director of the Nigeria Port Authority, who has been appointed as the special adviser on policy coordination.

In addition, Hannatu Musa Musawa has been appointed as the special adviser for culture and entertainment economy, while Abdullahi Abubakar Gumel will serve as the senior special assistant for national assembly matters (Senate). These appointments were announced by Willie Bassey, the director of information at the office of the secretary to the government of the federation (SGF), in a statement issued on Monday.

Furthermore, Olarewaju Kunle Ibrahim has been appointed as the senior special assistant for national assembly matters (house of representatives).

These recent appointments come after President Tinubu previously announced the appointment of eight special advisers, including Dele Alake as the special adviser on special duties, communication, and strategy, and Nuhu Ribadu, the former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), as the special adviser on security.

It is worth noting that on June 6, 2023, the Senate granted President Tinubu’s request to appoint 20 special advisers, further reinforcing his team.

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