By Gabriel Enogholase
FORMER Dean, Faculty of Law, University of Benin, Professor Lawrence Atsegbua (SAN) has said the suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Walter Onnoghen, by President Muhammadu Buhari, was unconstitutional.
Atsegbua said: “The CJN is the head of the judicial arm of government, established by Section 6 of the Constitution.
“The President cannot suspend or remove the CJN unilaterally. The removal of the CJN is governed by Section 292 (1) and Paragraphs 20 and 21 of the Third Schedule to the Constitution. The CJN enjoys security of tenure and can only be removed by following the procedure stipulated therein.
“The CJN can only be removed from office by the President acting on an address supported by two/thirds majority of the Senate. Only the NJC is constitutionally empowered with the disciplinary control, inclu-ding power of suspension, over a judicial office.”