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Boris Johnson picks navy chief as head of British armed forces

navy chief

Boris Johnson picks navy chief as head of British armed forces

Boris Johnson has selected the navy chief for the first time in 20 years as the next chief of Britain’s armed forces, a choice intended to reinforce the UK’s post-Brexit switch in focus to the Indo-Pacific region.

The prime minister picked Adm Sir Tony Radakin for the £270,000-a-year position from a field of five to replace Gen Sir Nick Carter, who had been criticised over the messy retreat from Afghanistan.

Announcing the new chief of defence staff, Johnson said Radakin had proved himself an “outstanding military leader” who would “lead the armed forces at a time of incredible change while upholding the values and standards that they are respected for around the world”.

Radakin, 55, is the first sea lord, responsible for the Royal Navy, which this year deployed the HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier and a string of supporting vessels into the Pacific as part of a more aggressive posture towards China.

Born in Oldham, Radakin is a barrister by training but has served in the navy since 1990, working his way up through the ranks until becoming first sea lord in 2019.

He said he was humbled to have been selected in a time of enormous change, adding that Johnson and the defence secretary, Ben Wallace, “have demanded reform and we must seize the opportunity the government has given us and ensure we are a global force delivering for global Britain”.

Allies emphasise his communication skills, seen as key to the job following Carter, who was heavily criticised for appearing naive about the Taliban, describing them as “country boys” who wanted an Afghanistan “inclusive for all” days after the fall of Kabul.

Earlier this year, Downing Street published an integrated review of defence and foreign policy, a key feature of which was to call for a significant British re-engagement in the Indo-Pacific, which had been abandoned in the late 1960s.

Naval power is deemed to be at the heart of competing with China, which has the world’s largest navy. Last month, the UK also signed a three-country pact with the US to supply long-range nuclear-powered submarines for Australia.

Radakin had pushed hard for the job, and there had been unhappiness in some parts of Whitehall that he had tried too hard to claim credit for the submarine deal, called Aukus, which had been negotiated at country-leader level.

The elevation also comes after the apparent suicide of the former head of the Royal Marines, Maj Gen Matthew Holmes, 54. Holmes, who had stepped down from his post in April after a navy reorganisation, had been experiencing personal difficulties.

Radakin’s main competitor was Gen Sir Patrick Sanders, 55, who runs Britain’s special forces and military cyber operations, whose allies argued had more operational experience than the navy chief. Others in contention were Gen Sir Mark Carleton-Smith, the head of the army, and Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston, who leads the RAF.

The appointment concludes a process that lasted about a month, beginning with interviews by a Ministry of Defence panel headed by Wallace. The defence secretary then sent his recommendation to the prime minister, but the appointment is ultimately Johnson’s.

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I Will Soon Start Signing Death Warrants- Bala Mohammed

Bauchi state governor, Bala Mohammed has disclosed that he will soon start to sign death warrants.

Mohammed made this known on Friday in Bauchi while signing the Violence against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) bill and a bill for the establishment of the Bauchi state penal code, into law.

In Nigeria, state governors are legally backed to sign the death warrants.

Since 2012, no governor has been reported to have signed death warrants.

“We will soon be signing some death sentences because there are many and because of justice which has to be taken to a logical conclusion

“I know some governors are running away from signing the death sentences because they exercise restraints on the basis that there may be some element of error.

“But to me, I will leave it to my lord (the chief judge) who will prosecute. It’s not my fault. If it is brought to my attention, I will do it.”

“As for the Violence against Persons Prohibition Act, we know that we are the first in the northern part of the country to enact the law, which is a member’s bill incidentally from the honourable speaker, and it has earned us a lot of respect in the country.

“But because of some noticed gaps, it was taken back and it was corrected. We thank the house for making the corrections.”

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Court Sacks 13 Ebonyi LG Bosses, 171 Councilors

A Federal High Court sitting in Abakaliki has again nullified the Ebonyi Local Government Elections and sacked all the 13 Council chairmen in the state.

The court also sacked all the councilors and 171 ward chairmen of the state.

The court had on Aug. 25, nullified the council polls of May 31.

Ruling on the matter with suit NO: FHC/AI/CS/224/2022 on Friday, Justice Fatun Riman ordered the seizure of the monthly federal allocation of the chairmen pending when rightful Chief Executives were elected into office.

Fatun restated that the councils election by the State Independent Electoral Commission (EBSIEC) on May 31 was illegal and unconstitutional.

Mr Mudi Erenede, Counsel to the plaintiff said he was happy over the judgment and commended the court.

“In the judgement today, the court has agreed that the Ebonyi State High court has no powers to override or set aside the judgment of the Federal High Court because it is not an Appeal Court.

“Those people, who are parading themselves as chairmen are not there legally.

“They were appointed by whoever that appointed them. CBN, Attorney General of the Federation, Federal Ministry of Finance are all defendants in this suits,” he stated.

The counsel to Ebonyi State Government, Mr Roy Nweze, said there was no need responding to a judgment that had already been delivered by the court.

Nweze said that the matter would be appealed without delay.


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Naval College Graduates 245 Officers, Personnel

The newly graduated personnel of the Officers’ Application Course 20 of the Nigerian Naval Engineering College (NNEC), Sapele in Delta, have been urged to remain committed to the service of the nation.

Rear Adm. Monday Unurhiere, the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Naval Training Command, made the plea at the graduation ceremony of the 245 Under Training Personnel of the Officers’ Application Course 20 in Sapele.

Unurhiere, represented by Rear Adm. Baratuaipri Iyalla, said that the call became necessary in view of the security, economic and social challenges currently facing the country.

The naval chief urged the graduands to make deliberate efforts to improve themselves on the job by way of taking advantage of modern technology and also tapping into the wealth of experience of their superiors.

“Let me remind you that as officers of the Nigerian Navy, you are charged with enormous responsibility and your unswerving allegiance is to the Nation.

“The confidence reposed in you must not be taking for granted, especially at this time that our national aspirations are being threatened by numerous security, economic and social challenges.

“As such, you may find yourself being called upon to serve beyond your technical capability due to the prevailing situation in the country,” he said.

Unurhiere acknowledged the efforts of the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Adm. Awwal Gambo, for creating the enabling environment for training and continued financial support to NNEC.

According to him, this has helped the College to contribute more to the technological advancement of Nigerian Navy and the nation at large.

He urged the graduands, especially the under training personnel, to maintain the current tempo in sustaining training and other naval activities.

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