Onnoghen’s Suspension: Buhari’s Action Culpable Of Undermining Nigeria’s Judiciary, Says Saraki
The Senate President Dr Bukola Saraki has condemned the suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria Hon Justice Onnoghen by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Saraki in a statement on Friday, described the action as ‘undermining the nation’s judiciary.
President Muhammadu Buhari had disclosed on Friday afternoon that he was written by the Code of Conduct Tribunal to suspend Onnoghen over allegation bordering on breach of office and under declaring his asset.
Reacting, Saraki said the suspension did not follow due process, warning that the President action may have sent a bad signal to the international community about Nigeria’s undemocratic display.
“The suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon. Justice Onnoghen by President Buhari is an action capable of undermining the nation’s judiciary, subverting the Constitution, intimidating judges, and creating uncertainty in the electoral process.
“By unilaterally suspending the CJN without following the provision of the constitution, President Buhari has sent a dangerous signal to the entire world that Nigeria is no longer a democratic nation and that we have returned to the old, jaded era of military dictatorship .
“Our constitution makes no provision for suspension of the nation’s highest judicial officer. The constitution provides a clear process for removal of the CJN and specify the roles of the three arms of government, beginning from the National Judicial Council (NJC), the National Assembly and lastly, the Presidency, have different roles to play in that process.
“There is no condition under which the President can usurp the powers of other arms of government. I do not know where the President and his advisers got this idea of suspending the CJN on the so-called order of the Code of Conduct Tribunal but this is novel, disingenuous and alien to our laws. It is strange that President Buhari is claiming to be taking orders from a Tribunal which has been ordered by a superior court to halt all actions on the trial.
“With this action, President Buhari has initiated a process the consequence of which nobody can predict. They have precipitated a constitutional crisis.”
The Senate President called on the internatonal communities to challenged the inpunity.
“At this point, all democratic institutions in the country, the international community and democrats across the world should rise against this blatant act of impunity. We should jointly condemn this retrogressive, uncivilized and despotic measure.
“I call on President Buhari to immediately reverse this decision and allow the due process of the law to take its natural course.”