The Nigerian Army has explained why the Chief of Army Staff Major General Farouk Yahaya claimed on Tuesday that he has spent 36 years in service.
It will be recalled that Yahaya made the claim when he appeared for screening before the House of Representatives Committees on Defence and Army.
According to him, he has put in 36 years of service having joined the military in 1985.
The 36 years is already one year more than the normal 35 years constitutionally allowed in the public service before retirement, Naija News reports.
However, reacting to the controversies surrounding the disclosure by the Army Chief, the Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Mohammed Yerima, in a statement explained that Gen. Yahaya captured his military experience to include the five years he spent in training as Officer Cadet in the Nigerian Defence Academy.
Yerima however explained further that the record of service of an officer counts from the day he is commissioned which in the case of the COAS is September 22nd, 1990 which he also stated during his appearance before the lawmakers.
The Army spokesperson, therefore, urged the public to note that Major General Farouk Yahaya, has not spent up to 36 years as a Commissioned Officer since he joined the Service and has not been caught in the retirement web which the law according to the Federal Civil Service rules stipulates at 55 years of age or 35 years of service.
The Army statement reads: “Our attention has been drawn to a publication by an online news medium where it was reported that the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Major General Faruk Yahaya has served the military for 36 years instead of the 35 years statutorily allowed in the Federal Civil Service Rules.
“It is worthy of mention that the COAS while appearing for confirmation did mention to the Distinguished Senators that “what I brought along in this highly tasking office is about 36 years of military experience, having joined the Army on 27 September 1985 as a member of 37 Regular Course (Degree)”. He went further to state “….Since that time when I passed out September 22nd, 1990.
“For the records, the COAS had accurately captured his military experience to include the 5 years he spent in training as Officer Cadet in the Nigerian Defence Academy.
“The record of service of an officer however counts from the day he is commissioned. This is clearly stated in the Harmonized Terms and Conditions of Service (Officers) 2017 Revised.
“In the case of the 22nd COAS as he stated clearly, he was commissioned on 22nd September 1990 which is reference point for his service years. This, therefore, means the message being circulated is completely inaccurate and out of context.
“The general public is therefore advised to disregard this unfounded article as it was born either out of simple lack of knowledge of the military service or out of mischief which can best be explained by the author”.
Meanwhile, former Lagos State Governor and National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu returned to Nigeria on Tuesday evening amidst rumours that he was hospitalized in France.
Naija News gathered the politician returned to Nigeria on Tuesday evening around 7pm ending speculations that he has been hospitalized in France for old-age related sickness.