- The suit challenging the appointment of Justice Tanko Muhammad, the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) seems to be heating up argument in the judiciary
- Acting CJN Muhammad on Monday, June 3, told an Abuja Federal High Court that he was duly appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari
- Muhammad also said that President Buhari did not need the permission of either the judiciary of or the Senate to suspend the former CJN, Walter Onnoghen
Justice Tanko Muhammad, the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) in an Abuja division of the Federal High Court on Monday, June 3, challenged the suit seeking to declare him unfit for his office.
In his application filed before the court, Muhammad maintained that he was duly appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari after the suspension of the former CJN, Walter Onnoghen as a result of the indictment against the latter by the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), Vanguard reports.
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The acting CJN argued that President Buhari, going by his office “has the power to remove or suspend any person occupying the office of the CJN”, adding that he did not need permission from the National Judicial Council (NJC) or the Federal Judicial Service Commission (FJSC) to suspend Onnoghen.
Added to this, Muhammadu stated that there was no need for the president to consult the Senate “for support by majority of two-third votes, before the erstwhile CJN could be suspended from office."
He added: “The 5th Defendant (Buhari) followed due process of law in the appointment of the 3rd Defendant as the Acting CJN.
“That the 5th Defendant has extended the appointment of the 3rd Defendant as the Acting CJN, by another three months, upon the recommendation of the 1st Defendant (NJC).
“I know as a fact that there had not been any negative impact on the Nigerian Judiciary as there is renewed belief by the common man in the judiciary as his last hope.”
Earlier, Legit.ng reported that a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja had summoned President Buhari, Muhammad and others to appear over the removal of Walter Onnoghen as the head of the judiciary.
That Justice Inyang Ekwo also directed members of the Federal Judicial Service Commission (FJSC), the federal government, the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), and the Senate to appear and show reason why they should not be restrained from initiating the confirmation of Justice Tanko Muhammad as substantive CJN should not be made.
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