Appearing Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Justice Ibrahim Muhammad has justified President Muhammadu Buhari’s suspension of erstwhile CJN, Justice Walter Onnoghen upon the January 25, 2019 ex-parte order of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).
Muhammad argued: “Any public officer discovered responsible of the breach or violation of code of conduct may be ordered to vacate the workplace he’s holding because the consequence of the breach or violation of the code of conduct.”
He contended that President Buhari did no fallacious by counting on the CCT order to droop Onnoghen.
Justice Muhammad acknowledged he dedicated no offence by submitting himself to be sworn in appearing capability following the order of the CCT and to stop the vacuum that might have been created by Onnoghen’s suspension.
The Appearing CJN made public his positions on Onnoghen’s suspension and eventual conviction, in his response to a swimsuit filed earlier than the Federal Excessive Court docket, Abuja by the Integrated Trustees of Malcom Omirhobo Basis.
The reliefs sought by the plaintiff embody a declaration that Justice Muhammad “isn’t a correct and match particular person to be beneficial by the 2nd defendant (the Federal Judicial Service Fee) to the first defendant (the NJC) and by the first defendant to the fifth defendant (Buhari) for appointment to the Workplace of the CJN”.
The plaintiff argued that, by accepting to be sworn in because the Appearing CJN, whereas Onnoghen was lawfully suspended, Justice Muhammad “carried out himself in a fashion that forged doubt of confidence in his integrity and impartiality of the Judiciary and having made himself a device used within the violation of the Structure of Nigeria”.
Listed as defendants to the swimsuit are the Nationwide Judicial Council (NJC), the Federal Judicial Service Fee (FJSC), Justice Muhammad, the Federal Authorities, Buhari, the Lawyer-Common of the Federation (AGF) and the Senate.
In a counter-affidavit filed for him by his crew of legal professionals led by Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), Justice Muhammad insisted that President Buhari breached no legislation or process in suspending Onnoghen based mostly on an ex-parte order by the CCT.
The appearing CJN, who famous that Onnoghen has since resigned after his suspension, argued that neither him, not the President did any fallacious of their dealing with of the Onnoghen case.
Justice Muhammad added: “The fifth defendant (the President) has the facility to take away or droop any particular person occupying the workplace of the Chief of Nigeria being the appointing authority.
“As at January 25, 2019 the order of the Code of Conduct Tribunal additionally directed the fifth defendant to swear in probably the most senior Justice of the Supreme Court docket because the Appearing Chief Justice of Nigeria.
“It was pursuant to the mentioned order of the Code of Conduct Tribunal that the fifth defendant appointed the third defendant because the Appearing Chief Justice of Nigeria.
“Within the circumstance, I do know as a truth there was no want for a advice of the 2nd defendant (FJSC) to the first defendant (NJC) or of the first defendant to the fifth defendant (Buhari) earlier than the erstwhile Chief Justice of Nigeria may very well be suspended from workplace.
“There was additionally no want for the fifth defendant to strategy the seventh defendant for assist by majority of two-third votes, earlier than the erstwhile Chief Justice of Nigeria may very well be suspended from workplace.
“The fifth defendant adopted due technique of legislation within the appointment of the third defendant because the Appearing Chief Justice of Nigeria”, including that “there has not been any detrimental influence on the Nigerian Judiciary as there’s renewed perception by the frequent man within the Judiciary as his final hope.”
When the case was talked about on Monday, Justice Inyang Ekwo directed events to file all vital processes and adjourned until June 7, 2019 for listening to. (The Nation)