Saturday, 23 March, 2019

Onnoghen: Supreme Court Justices Boycott Tanko's Inauguration of Elections Tribunals

Onnoghen's lawyers deliberated at the Code of Conduct Tribunal in Abuja on January 22 Onnoghen's lawyers deliberated at the Code of Conduct Tribunal in Abuja on January 22
Leonard Rios | 28 January, 2019, 04:36

Transition Monitoring Group (TMG), a coalition of 400 Civil Society Organizations, has condemned the suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen by President Muhammadu Buhari.

A Copy of the Motion Exparte obtained by PRNigeria exclusively was dated January 23, 2019 but was slated for hearing next Monday before the dramatic turn of event by the Federal Government against Justice Onnoghen.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its Presidential Candidate, Atiku Abubakar, have rejected the appointment of acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN).

The report had been feasted by the social media quoted Mrs. Buhari as saying, "I totally condemn the illegal suspension of Chief Justice of Nigeria Justice Walter Onnoghen".

"And for such further order (s) as this Honourable Tribunal may deem fit to make in the circumstances of this case".

Speak on the constitutionality of the suspension, Sagay in a telephone interview said Buhari was legally empowered to suspend Onnoghen.

The Nigerian Bar Association has called Buhari's move an "attempted coup against the Nigerian judiciary".

"The judiciary is in trying times, and you must stand to protect and uphold the integrity of this arm of government", he said.

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The PDP said it raised the alarm to protect Nigeria's democracy as against being partisan.

"This brazen dictatorial act is the latest action in the ongoing rape of our nation's hard earned democracy by those who dined with anti-democratic forces and is symptomatic of the increasing desperation that President Buhari and the cabal pulling the strings have as February 16, 2019 draws near", he said in a statement.

Buhari has previously been accused of using state security apparatus to target political opponents from the PDP, but being less swift to act against members of his own party.

Any return of lawmakers would likely set up another confrontation between the legislature and executive, as Senate leader Bukola Saraki is a prominent Buhari opponent.

On Thursday, an appeals court had issued an interim order to stop charges being brought against the chief justice.

"There can be no two Chief Justices of Nigeria".

Law professor Itse Sagay, who heads a government-appointed advisory body on graft, defended Buhari, who indicated Onnoghen should have recused himself after being charged. The president said the CCT ordered him to suspend him until the trial is over.

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