Nigeria News

The Politics Behind The Removal of Onnoghen

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Nigeria News takes a look at the suspension of Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The former Chief Justice of Nigeria really served into the hands of the cabal in President Muhammadu Buhari’s government. They saw him long before now as an alien and the only stumbling block in their smooth ride to the second term in office.

It took Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to make Onnoghen the substantive CJN after the expiration of his period in acting capacity, the cabal never wanted him in that position.

But on Friday evening, the cabal succeeded in their plot as President Muhammadu Buhari suspended Onnoghen pending the conclusion of his trial by the Code of Conduct Tribunal.

The president did not waste time as he quickly appointed the next justice in the Supreme Court, Justice Tanko Mohammed as the acting CJN.

In Buharri’s address, the president said that he was carrying out the advice of the Code of Conduct Tribunal to suspend Onnoghen until the conclusion of his trial.

With this, the judicial and legislative arms of the government are now under siege. The new acting CJN, Tanko will now constitute the election tribunal. This is what the mafias want.

The February presidential election is more than being won by the All Progressives Congress (APC), it is sealed as there is no judicial power to redress whatever anomaly that might arise from the poll.

One is pressed to ask, does the President has the power to appoint the CJN without the accent and recommendations of the National judicial Council (NJC)?

Going by the the 1999 constitution sub section 231, it says that

(1)  The appointment of a person to the office of Chief Justice of Nigeria shall be made by the President on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council subject to confirmation of such appointment by the Senate.

(2)  The appointment of a person to the office of a Justice of the Supreme Court shall be made by the President on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council subject to confirmation of such appointment by the Senate.

(3)  A person shall not be qualified to hold the office of Chief Justice of Nigeria or of a Justice of the Supreme Court, unless he is qualified to practise as a legal practitioner in Nigeria and has been so qualified for a period of not less than fifteen years.

(4)  If the office of Chief Justice of Nigeria is vacant or if the person holding the office is for any reason unable to perform the functions of the office, then until a person has been appointed to and has assumed the functions of that office, or until the person holding the office has resumed those functions, the President shall appoint the most senior Justice of the Supreme Court to perform those functions.

(5)  Except on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council, an appointment pursuant to the provisions of subsection (4) of this section shall cease to have effect after the expiration of three months from the date of such appointment, and the President shall not re-appoint a person whose appointment has lapsed.

But on Friday, Buhari read in his speech the many sins committed by the judiciary under Onnoghen, saying that many of those who allegedly looted the public funds are now free men.

This, according to the president could not be condoned and since Onnoghen had also been found to be allegedly corrupt, the CJN ought to have resigned to save the face of the organ that he headed.

However, the failure of Onnoghen to resign honourably led to his suspension on Friday night.

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