- Femi Falana has written to the Attorney General of the Federation, advising him to discontinue the trial of the suspended Chief Justice Walter Onnoghen at the tribunal
- The human rights lawyer also urged the AGF to advise President Buhari to reverse the suspension of Onnoghen
- Falana said once the suspension is reversed, Justice Onnoghen will then be prevailed upon to resign as the chief justice
Human rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, has written a letter to the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, advising him to discontinue the charges against the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria Walter Onnoghen at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).
Falana said after the charges at the CCT have been discontinued, the AGF should advise President Muhammadu Buhari to reverse the suspension placed on Onnoghen as no public office holder can be removed from office on the basis of an ex parte order granted by any court or tribunal in Nigeria.
He said after the reversal of the suspension, Onnoghen should then be prevailed to resign from the office of the chief justice as he has lost the moral rights to remain there, Vanguard reports.
READ ALSO: EFCC secures 40 convictions in one month
Read full letter below:
“Having confirmed that you have since submitted a petition to the National Judicial Council alleging grave misconduct against the Chief Justice, I am compelled to request you, once again, to file a nolle prosequi to discontinue the charge pending against his Lordship at the Code of Conduct Tribunal without any further delay.
“The charge should not be allowed to hang like a Sword of Damocles on the head of the Chief Justice while he is being investigated by the National Judicial Council. In view of your implicit confidence in the ability of members of the National Judicial Council to resolve the matter you ought to accede to the request to terminate the proceedings at the Code of Conduct Tribunal forthwith.
“As you are no doubt aware, the withdrawal of the case from the Code of Conduct Tribunal will lead to the immediate vacation of the ex parte order relied upon by President Muhammadu Buhari to justify the illegal suspension of the Chief Justice from office and the appointment of Justice Tanko Mohammad as Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria. Even though by virtue of Paragraph 10 (2) (a) of Part 1 of the Fifth Schedule to the 1999 Constitution (as amended) the Code of Conduct Tribunal is empowered to order any public officer to vacate office the power cannot be exercised until such a public officer has been tried and convicted for breaching the provisions of the code of conduct for pubic officers.
“But as a public officer cannot be removed from office on the basis of an ex parte order granted by any Court or Tribunal in Nigeria we urge you to advise President Buhari to reverse the suspension of the Chief Justice.
“Once the suspension is reversed Justice Walter Onnoghen will then be prevailed upon to resign as the Chief Justice having lost the moral authority to preside over the affairs on the juridical organ of the Government of the Federation. However, if his Lordship does not call it quits or if the National Judicial Council does not recommend his removal from office you may wish to exercise your powers under section 174 of the Constitution to prosecute him for failure to declare his assets which is a punishable offence under the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act."
PAY ATTENTION: Read the news on Nigeria’s #1 news app
Meanwhile, Legit.ng earlier reported that Justice Onnoghen disclosed that some of the foreign currencies deposited in his domiciliary account were from trading in foreign exchange (forex), AGRICODE, while others were returns from proceeds of his investments.
Onnoghen in a voluntary statement made at Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), in Abuja, said some of the funds were sourced partly from his reserve and saving from estacodes, including medical expenses.
He noted that prior to opening the US dollar account, he had foreign currency, which he kept at home, due to the fact that there existed a government that proscribed the operation of foreign currency account by public officers including judicial officers.
NAIJ.com (naija.ng) -> Legit.ng We have updated to serve you better.
Presidency, Nigerians give their thoughts on the fight against corruption| Legit TV