Onnoghen Should Quit The Bench After His Suspension Has Been Lifted - Falana



"This brazen dictatorial act is the latest action in the ongoing rape of our nation's hard earned democracy by those who dined with anti-democratic forces and is symptomatic of the increasing desperation that President Buhari and the cabal pulling the strings have as February 16, 2019 draws near", he said in a statement.

The United States, Britain and the European Union expressed concern on Saturday after Nigeria's president suspended the country's chief justice three weeks before the presidential election, with the USA warning it could "cast a pall" over the vote in Africa's most populous nation.

Abubakar's People's Democratic Party said Saturday morning on Twitter that it would stop campaigning for three days and that Buhari, a former military ruler, had "effectively suspended the constitution".

The suspension came less than 24 hours before Mr Onnoghen was scheduled to swear in members of election tribunals.

The meeting will be held in Abuja by 10am on Monday.

The European Union's Election Observation Mission in Nigeria said the decision to suspend the chief justice has lead Nigerians to question "whether due process was followed".

The human right activist said after the suspension has been lifted, the Chief Justice should quit the bench because he has already admitted that he failed in his duty to declare his asset as required by the constitution.

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In his place, Justice Ibrahim Tanko, who is the next most senior Justice of the Supreme Court was sworn in as the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria.

He said, "It is constitutional".

"I also urge the worldwide community to follow the commendable example of the United States and the United Kingdom by intervening to make those involved in this undemocratic act know that their actions will have consequences".

The judge had admitted a failure to comply with assets declaration requirements, he said, adding: "The suspension is morally justified and legally justified".

It was observed that unlike the custom where justices of the Supreme Court attend such functions with the CJN, only one of the Supreme Court justices, Justice Sidi Dauda Bage, joined the Acting CJN, Justice Mohammed on the court podium.

"The judiciary is in trying times, and you must stand to protect and uphold the integrity of this arm of government", he said.

Saraki has accused the government of targeting him because he was not its first choice as leader of the upper house of parliament. Muhammed, like the president, is from Nigeria's largely Muslim north while Onnoghen is from the largely Christian south.

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