- Chief Malcolm Omirhobo has asked the Federal High Court, Abuja, to decide on the legality of CJN Onnoghen's suspension
- According to the Lagos-based constitutional lawyer, the suspension of Onnoghen is unlawful and unconstitutional
- Omirhobo wants the court to decide on whether the appointment of an acting CJN to replace Onnoghen was in compliance with due process of law
A Lagos-based constitutional lawyer, Chief Malcolm Omirhobo, has asked a Federal High Court, Abuja, to decide whether due process was observed in the suspension of Justice Walter Onnoghen as Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN).
The lawyer, suing through Registered Trustees of Malcom Omirhobo Foundation, urged the court to declare the said suspension of Onnoghen as unlawful and unconstitutional.
In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/109/2019, the plaintiff joined as defendant: The Attorney General of the Federation, the Senate, National Judicial Council (NJC), Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), Justice Mohammed Tanko and Onnoghen.
Plaintiff asked the court to decide whether the 1999 constitution being the Supreme Law of Nigeria, and regulating the there arms of government had been suspended.
He also wanted the court to decide whether in interpreting Sections153(1) (i) (2), 158 , 231(1)(4), 292(1) (a)(i) and part I (I) of the third schedule of the 1999 constitution, the suspension and removal of the CJN was in compliance with due process of the law.
Omirhobo sought for the court’s decision on whether the appointment of an acting CJN to replace Onnoghen was in compliance with due process of law, and whether it was proper, lawful, legal, constitutional and democratic.
The plaintiff, therefore, wanted the court to declare that the 1999 Constitution was the Supreme Law of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and that the defendants have no powers under the constitution to suspend the CJN.
He also asked for a declaration that the CJN can only be removed from office, on an address supported by two-third majority of the Senate, adding that the removal from office of Onnoghen, is without due process of law.
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The plaintiff therefore, sought for an order revoking or setting aside the appointment and swearing in of the acting CJN.
Besides, he wanted an order, compelling the defendants to comply with the principle of Separation of Powers, Judicial independence and the Rule of law. No date has been fixed for hearing of the new suit.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had reported that Kasim Afegbua, spokesperson for the PDP presidential campaign council, described the suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria Onnoghen as an alleged attempt by the federal government to “achieve its ulterior motive” ahead of the general elections.
Afegbua said: “The motive is that they just want to get rid of the judiciary, inflict maximum fear in the system, so that when elections come on February 16 and this government is voted out of power, they can unleash mayhem on the system.''
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