BY KINGSLEY OMONOBI
Against the backdrop of calls for sanctions on the Commander, Brigade of Guards, Brigadier General Abdul Mustapha or those who gave permission for the deployment of 300 heavily armed soldiers who cordoned off the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport last Wednesday when President Umaru Yarâ€™adua got back to the country without knowledge of the Acting President, indications have emerged that the Presidency has commenced a discreet investigation of the roles of the service chiefs under whose command troops deployment can take place.
Vanguardâ€™s investigations in this regard show that the Nigerian Army under whose umbrella the Guards Brigade fall into, and the Nigerian Airforce under whose umbrella the Presidential Air Fleet fall into, with Group Captain Iyal as PAF Commander, are expected to say all they know about the movement of the President and why it was done in such secrecy that Mr. Acting President and even the Chief of Defence Staff, were kept in the dark about it.
Going by statutes, the Service chiefs, Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Naval Staff and Chief of Air Staff, are in control of troops, armoury and weapons holding including the warships, the fighter planes and the artillery or battle tanks as the case may be. The CDS on his part is for administration and coordination as well as responsible for all joint operations.
Hence while the Commander, Brigade of Guards have routine control of the troops under his command, the only authority he could be responsible to apart from the presidency, is army headquarters while in the case of the Airforce, the Commander, Presidential Air Fleet can also give courtesy briefings to the NAF headquarters.
Vanguard gathered that following inquiries by members of the National Assembly on the role of the military in Yarâ€™adua return saga and snubbing of the Acting President, the investigation would seek to find out who and why certain actions were taken so that if those to be sanctioned are properly sanctioned, it will serve as lesson for the future.