Post Views: 318 The last may not have been heard about Friday’s decision by the Muhammadu Buhari administration to suspend embattled Justice Walter On...
The last may not have been heard about Friday’s decision by the Muhammadu Buhari administration to suspend embattled Justice Walter Onnoghen as Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN).
The Embassy of the United States, in a statement on Saturday, expressed deep concern at the possible impact of the executive arm’s “decision to suspend and replace the Chief Justice and head of the judicial branch without the support of the legislative branch on the eve of national and state elections.”
Buhari, who said he acted on the January 23, 2019, order of the Code of Conduct Tribunal to suspend Onnoghen, immediately swore in Justice Tanko Mohammed as replacement in acting capacity.
The U.S statement noted also the “widespread Nigerian criticism that this decision is unconstitutional and that it undermines the independence of the judicial branch. That undercuts the stated determination of government, candidates, and political party leaders to ensure that the elections proceed in a way that is free, fair, transparent, and peaceful – leading to a credible result.”
While urging that the issues raised by the decision be resolved swiftly and peacefully in accordance with due process, the statement called for “full respect for the rule of law, and the spirit of the Constitution of Nigeria.
Such action, it added, has become urgently necessary at this time “to ensure that this decision does not cast a pall over the electoral process.”