Acting Chief Justice inaugurates election tribunal

Posted January 27, 2019

A source in the National Assembly disclosed that the lawmakers would reconvene to discuss the suspension of Justice Walter Onnoghen as the Chief Justice of Nigeria.

The Reformed Niger Delta Avengers (RNDA) has commended President Muhammadu Buhari's decision to suspend Walter Onnoghen as the Chief Justice of Nigeria.

Buhari said he was acting on the recommendation of the Code of Conduct Tribunal.

Buhari, who was a military ruler in the 1980s and voted into office in 2015, is seeking a fresh term in an election scheduled to take place on February 16.

"It risks affecting both domestic and global perceptions on the credibility of the forthcoming elections", the statement reads.

Nigerians have pointed out that the suspension occurred shortly before the chief justice was to swear in members of various election petition tribunals.

"Our country is falling apart under the leadership of President Buhari and it is time to stand up for democracy", the main opposition candidate, Atiku Abubakar, 72, said in a statement.

Speaking with the Sun on the matter, Ozekhome further called on lawyers and the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) "to shut down all the courts in protest of Justice Onnoghen's suspension until he is returned to his seat". Buhari's election in 2015 was a rare peaceful transfer of power.

The Senate president said this in a statement on Friday, January 25.

On Thursday, an appeals court had issued an interim order to halt charges being brought against the chief justice. It states that where the Chief Justice is guilty of a breach of the code of conduct, he can be removed by an address of two-thirds majority of the Senate.

Nigerian lawyers and opposition parties have already condemned the suspension.

He said, "It is constitutional". It is a cankerworm that has eaten deep into the fabric of the Nigerian society over the years, and so, therefore, those that using the suspension of Justice Walter Onnoghen to wipe up ethnic and religious sentiments should desist from such acts as they can not cry more than the bereaved.

The group also commended the present administration "for the smooth take-off of academic activities at the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko", as well as the president's directive for the "approval of the dredging of the Escravos Warri River at the cost of N13billion to enable cargo vessels access Warri sea port, which will in turn boost economic activities in the Niger Delta", among other listed achievements.