Senators Furious Over Nigerian Army Chief Buratai's Absence at Public Hearing | Nigeria Newspaper- Nigeria News| Naija News

5.10.17

Senators Furious Over Nigerian Army Chief Buratai's Absence at Public Hearing

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Senators Furious Over Nigerian Army Chief Buratai's Absence at Public Hearing
Nigerian Senate


The refusal of the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, to appear before the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, has sparked fury among the lawmakers. 
According to Premium Times, the members of the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions were on Wednesday infuriated by the refusal of the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, to honour the invitation of the committee.
 
The committee had sent invitation to Mr. Buratai to appear before a public hearing over a petition submitted by a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel, Abdulfatai Mohammed.
 
Mr. Mohammed alleged that the Army forcefully retired him in June 2016 without explanation after 22 years of service.
 
The public hearing started at about 3.30 p.m. with the petitioner tendering additional evidence to the committee for consideration.
 
At the expiration of his speech, the chairman of the committee, Samuel Anyanwu, called out the name of Mr. Buratai to hear the Nigerian Army’s side of the story.
 
However, instead of his intended respondent, an Army officer who introduced himself as Major Daniel from the Legal Services Department spoke as representative of Mr. Buratai.
 
This incurred the fury of the lawmakers who branded Mr. Buratai as ‘disrespectful’ and ‘insulting.’
 
Mr. Anyanwu expressed disappointment that despite his efforts and ‘due respect’ to the Chief of Army Staff, he decided to ignore the invitation.
 
“I was called last week by my clerk that the Chief of Army Staff said I should personally sign the invitation letter before he can attend to us and I did. I find it difficult to believe that he didn’t honour our invitation. We also have a General as member of this committee and he deemed it fit not to come here to listen to us.
 
“The last time we invited the Chief of Air Force, he was here in person. The same thing with Navy. I respect you and your position as a major, but tell whoever sent you that we are not going to listen to you.”
 
Lending his voice, another member of the committee, Ovie Omo Agege, said that Mr. Buratai’s act was an insult to the Senate.
 
“If you like, you can be anything, sending you here instead of appearing is insulting. He is insulting us by this act,” he said.
 
Another member, Binta Garba, said that the COAS belittled the Senate by sending “not even the head of a department but an ordinary major.
 
“Even if they will send someone from the legal department, it should be the head and not a major,” she said.
 
Mr. Anyanwu declared the public hearing closed while sending a verbal invitation to Mr. Buratai.
 
“Go and tell your Chief of Army Staff that this committee takes exception to this kind of insult and would not take it. Tell him that we didn’t attend to you and in the next sitting, we expect him to appear in person,” he said.

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