- The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) wants an immediate end to the trial of CJN Walter Onnoghen by the federal government
- The NBA says the trial of Onnoghen is with the goal to get him removed as the Chief Justice of Nigeria
- The association argues that the federal government did not follow due process in the trial of Onnoghen
The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has reportedly demanded that the federal government discontinue, with immediate effect, the prosecution of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, through the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).
In a statement by the NBA president, Paul Usoro, in Abuja on Monday, January 21, the association said: “Being a country governed by laws, the FGN owes us a duty to comply strictly with these provisions of the Constitution for the removal of the CJN.”
Channels television reports that the NBA stated this as preparations continue for the resumption of proceedings at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) scheduled to take place on Tuesday, January 22.
The NBA said it was not comfortable with the trial of Onnoghen claiming that the immediate goal of the executive arm of the government was to remove Justice Onnoghen from office.
The NBA said due process must be adhered to by the federal government saying this had not been followed so far.
The association quoted the law as saying: “A judicial officer shall not be removed from his office or appointment before his age of retirement except in the following circumstances . . . in the case of . . . Chief Justice of Nigeria . . . by the president acting on an address supported by two-thirds majority of the Senate.”
The NBA argued that the Nigerian constitution did not give any opportunity for the removal of the CJN from office, whether on a temporary or permanent basis, except through the adoption of the due process.
Legit.ng earlier reported that the federal government recently reportedly filed a motion at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) seeking the removal of Walter Onnoghen as the chief justice of Nigeria (CJN).
The the motion was filed by Musa Ibrahim and Fatima Danjuma Ali on behalf of the Attorney-General of the Federation on Thursday, January 17.
Legit.ng gathered that the move, according to the government, is aimed at ensuring that Onnoghen is not a judge in his case and that the next in line of seniority, Justice Ibrahim Muhammad, becomes the acting CJN pending the determination of the substantive suit.
However, a Federal High Court in Abuja recently restrained President Muhammadu Buhari and others from removing the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen.
Justice Inyang Ekwo on Monday, January 17, ordered the parties to maintain status quo over the moves to remove the CJN.
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