QUESTION: Does Buhari Have Powers To Remove Onnoghen? Yes? No?

In Breaking News, Opinion, Politics

By CrossRiverWatch Admin 

According to Section 292 of the Nigerian Constitution, “A judicial officer shall not be removed from his office or appointment before his age of retirement except in the following circumstances – (a) in the case of – (ii) Chief Justice of Nigeria, President of the Court of Appeal, Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Chief Judge of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Grand Kadi of the Sharia Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and President, Customary Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, by the President acting on an address supported by two-thirds majority of the Senate”.

President Muhammadu Buhari has suspended Walter Onnoghen as Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN).

Onnoghen is standing trial for fraudulent declaration of assets.

Buhari based his decision on an order by the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) issued on Wednesday, directing the suspension of the CJN.

A statement by the President on Friday evening noted that Onnoghen’s suspension is “pending final determination of the case against him at the Code of Conduct Tribunal”.

Buhari has also sworn in Ibrahim Tanko Mohammed as the acting CJN.

The question on everyone’s lips at the moment is whether the President has the capacity to direct the suspension of Onnoghen. Does he or does he not?

NO

Section 292 of the Nigerian Constitution reads as follows:

(1) A judicial officer shall not be removed from his office or appointment before his age of retirement except in the following circumstances –

(a) in the case of –

(i) Chief Justice of Nigeria, President of the Court of Appeal, Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Chief Judge of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Grand Kadi of the Sharia Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and President, Customary Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, by the President acting on an address supported by two-thirds majority of the Senate.

(ii) Chief Judge of a State, Grand Kadi of a Sharia Court of Appeal or President of a Customary Court of Appeal of a State, by the Governor acting on an address supported by two-thirds majority of the House of Assembly of the State, Praying that he be so removed for his inability to discharge the functions of his office or appointment (whether arising from infirmity of mind or of body) or for misconduct or contravention of the Code of Conduct;

(b) in any case, other than those to which paragraph (a) of this subsection applies, by the President or, as the case may be, the Governor acting on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council that the judicial officer be so removed for his inability to discharge the functions of his office or appointment (whether arising from infirmity of mind or of body) or for misconduct or contravention of the Code of Conduct.

(2) Any person who has held office as a judicial officer shall not on ceasing to be a judicial officer for any reason whatsoever thereafter appear or act as a legal practitioner before any court of law or tribunal in Nigeria.

The forgoing proves that the President lacks the powers to ‘remove’ Onnoghen, but this is only true to the extent that ‘removal’ includes both temporary, like a suspension, and permanent removal from office.

YES

There could also be an argument that the President hasn’t ‘removed’ Onnoghen but has only suspended him, meaning Onnoghen’s return to the office, should he be cleared of fraudulent asset declaration charges, is also possible. In the event that ‘suspension’ does not constitute ‘removal’, then the President would be seen as not having violated the law.

THE FINAL ANSWER

Only the lawyers, really, can tell us clear-cut. Let the debate begin!

Culled From SaharaReporters.

Since You Are Here, Support Good Journalism


CrossRiverWatch was founded on the ideals of deploying tech tools to report in an ethical manner, news, views and analysis with a narrative that ensures transparency in governance, a good society and an accountable democracy.

Everyone appreciates good journalism but it costs a lot of money. Nonetheless, it cannot be sacrificed on the altar of news commercialisation.

Consider making a modest contribution to support CrossRiverWatch's journalism of credibility and integrity in order to ensure that all have continuous free access to our noble endeavor.

CLICK HERE

New Feature: Don't miss any of our news again.Get all our articles in your facebook chat box.Click the Facebook Messenger Icon below to subscribe now

Text Advert by CRWatch :Place Yours

Will You To Learn How To Make Millions Of Naira Making Special Creams From Your Kitchen?.Click Here


Expose Your Business And Make More Sales. Advertise On CrossRiverWatch.com Today

You may also read!

Police Silent 24 Hours After 8 Decomposing Bodies Are Found At Odukpani

By Jonathan Ugbal and Patrick Obia Contrary to reportage (not by this Newspaper) that 15 headless bodies were found

Read More...

VIDEO: Policeman Beaten, AK47 Rifle Stolen At Ekori Division Survives

By CrossRiverWatch Admin CrossRiverWatch has confirmed the identity of the Police Officer attacked at Ekori Division, Yakurr LGA. His

Read More...

How Insecurity Affects The Lives Of Everyone In The Niger Delta

By Tarila Marclint Ebiede, The Conversation Nigeria has an urgent insecurity problem. News from the country often emphasises insecurity related to

Read More...

Leave a reply:

Your email address will not be published.

Mobile Sliding Menu

Share this now