Suspension: Onnoghen Drags Buhari To Court

Walter Onnoghen, suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, has dragged the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to court over his suspension.

Mr Buhari had last week suspended Mr Onnoghen who is accused of non-declaration of assets traced to him.

The president while suspending the top jurist said he relied on an order from the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) while taking the action.

The suit was filed by lawyers of the accused led by Wole Olanipekun, Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN).

The top jurist asked the court to rule that the CCT order on which the president relied upon was null and void.

“The chairman and a member of the Code of Conduct Tribunal erred in law and violated the right of the appellant (Onnoghen) to a fair hearing when they made the order ex parte that he (Onnoghen) shall step aside as CJN and Chairman of the National Judicial Council over allegations of contravening provisions of the Code of Conduct and Tribunal Act Cap C15 Laws of the Federation 2004 pending the determination of the motion on notice dated January 10, 2019,” part of the suit read.

Meanwhile, the National Judicial Council (NJC) on Tuesday, met over the issue and has ordered Onnoghen and Ibrahim Muhammad, the acting CJN, to respond to petitions it received against the duo.

While the petition against the suspended top jurist might not be unconnected to his alleged non-declaration of assets, that of the acting CJN is an alleged breach of NJC rules in which he made himself available to be sworn in as acting CJN without the approval of the judicial council.