Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party in Bauchi State, under the leadership of Muhammad Yahaya Abubakar, says the suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, and the swearing-in of Justice Tanko Muhammed as Acting CJN appeared like a game of politics by the federal government but also believes that the suspended CJN violated the Code of Conduct Law.
“Unfortunately, to those shouting on top of their voices and throwing their weight behind Justice Onnoghen, we want them to go back to the Constitution and find out its provisions on the suspension and impeachment of public officers. On the suspension of the CJN, the National Assembly could only advise and approve in case of new appointment or suggest when need be to the President”, the party said in a statement by Abubakar.
The statement went on: “If we are to also look at the Acting CJN appointment, without tribal or religious learning, there is virtually nothing wrong about it as we as a country cannot live without a Chief Justice and Justice Ibrahim Tanko, whose region and religion are different from those of Onnoghen, happens to be the most senior judge of the Supreme Court and it was that privilege that made his choice as Acting CJN inevitable.
“Going back to the charges slammed on the suspended CJN, it is not only that judges are alleged to be corrupt but the Nigerian law itself creates room for criminals to escape justice. But for the seek of peace, justice and continuity of true democracy in Nigeria, Justice Onnoghen should save the country the shame he has put himself in and resign his position as JNC while the President should temper justice with mercy and rescind the suspension.
“This should however be done simultaneously. Afterwards a CJN should be appointed in acting capacity based on the recommendation of the NJC while also seeking the Senate approval.
“It will also be wise for the President to consider subjecting the list of the tribunals for the forthcoming elections or nominations made by either the suspended CJN or the Acting CJN to the approval of the joint national legislative houses”.