Senator Ibrahim Shekarau on Thursday hinted the service chiefs may have overstayed in service, explaining why they should be relieved of their duties.
Intense calls for their removal have come in the wake of insecurity challenges across the country.
The Senate urged the presidency to replace service chiefs for a second time, after the latest killing of dozens of rice farmers in Zabaramari, Borno state.
A former education minister and two-time governor of Kano state, Shekarau, on Channels TV Sunrise Daily, rule of law in government service outweighed the decision whether the service chiefs were performing or not.
“There is a point the presidency is missing. Before you get to the question of performing or not performing, there is the question of rule of law.
“The military is governed by the scheme of service. There are conditions when to leave—you either attain age 60 or put in service for 35 years,” he said.
“None of them [the service chiefs] has less than 35. The Chief of Defence Staff has put in 39 years of services. All except the chief of defence who is 58, all are more than 60.
“Chief of Air staff has put in 37, Chief of Naval Staff has put in 41 years.
“What we are saying is even if Mr President has found them indispensable, allow them to retire just like in public service, as the rule specifies, and you can hire them as minister of defence, adviser on defence, NSA, whatever.
“There is a difference from being within the service period and the president can keep you as long as he so wishes.”