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1. The president purportedly suspended the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) acting on an ex parte Order by the Code of Conduct Tribunal.

2. Instructively, the Order was not made suo motu by the Tribunal but upon an application by the Prosecution, on behalf of Mr President’s Government. Also, the application did not afford the defendant an opportunity to respond to the allegations as it was brought by a Motion Exparte.

3. Whilst the discretionary powers to grant an Ex parte Order is incidental to the powers of a judge, such powers should be excercised judicially and judiciously, and must not be ultra vires or unconstitutional.

4. There is no provision of the Constitution that speaks about the suspension of judicial officers, including the Chief Justice of Nigeria.

5. S. 292 of the Constitution that is being bandied around speaks about the REMOVAL and not the suspension of judicial officers.

6. Assuming without conceding that that section of the law applies to SUSPENSION, an address supported by two-third majority of the Senate is a condition precedent for the declaration of the suspension of the CJN by the president to be valid.

7. Moreover, the REMOVAL (or suspension for the purpose of argument) of a judicial officer must be as a result of “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.” However, allegation or standing trial for these wrongs cannot be exalted to the status of conviction, as it is the same constitution that safeguards the presumption of innocence of a defendant. The Code of Conduct Tribunal has yet to reach a decision on the guilt of the CJN regarding declaration of his assets.

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8. There is an ancillary argument in the public that he who has power to hire also has power to fire. Apparently, this argument is spurious in this circumstance. The CJN is NOT an exclusive appointee of the President like a Minister. The CJN though appointed by the President can only be so appointed on the recommendation of the NJC subject to confirmation by the Senate. If this argument is therefore to be followed to its logical conclusion, then the CJN’s suspension should be preceded by the NJC’s recommendation and confirmed by the Senate before it can take effect.

9. The principle of Separation of Powers, one of the foundational principles in a democracy, was conceived to prevent a situation where an arm of Government would be subject to the whims and caprices of another, as evidenced in this case.

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10. If the President’s team wants to hide under the inapplicable provision of S 292 to suspend the CJN, they should also be just and equitable enough to give the order of the Court of Appeal restraining the CCT from removing the CJN a purposive interpretation to cover his suspension.

Oshiomhole – Obasanjo Lies In The Morning, Afternoon, Night.

11. At any rate, the purported swearing in of Honourable Justice Tanko is unconstitutional, ultra vires, null and void, as the CCT made an unconstitutional order which was unconstitutionally executed by the president.

12. The office of the Chief Justice of Nigeria is not vacant and there is nothing to show that Hon. Justice Mister Onnoghen is unable to perform the functions of the office, which could have necessitated the appointment of the most senior justice of the Supreme Court to perform those functions by the president pursuant to S. 231 (4).

13. The political context of this illegal, unconstitutional, and anarchistic move is clear. The president who feigned ignorance about the prosecution of the CJN has now purportedly suspended the CJN, following an application initiated by his hatchmen.

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14. The Chairman of the CCT, who boasted in open court that it is easier to remove the CJN than to remove a CCT judge, has found the nerve to order his suspension in flagrant disregard to the clear provisions of the Constitution. It is an open secret that the Chairman is liable to blackmail by the President following the threat of prosecution for a similar offence hanging over his head.

15. The purported suspension of the CJN by the president is therefore both illegal and immoral. It is a violent rape of our nascent democracy, and should be roundly condemned by every well meaning, right thinking Nigerian.

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Abass Sulaiman Adegoke, well known as Adegoke is a student of Federal Polytechnic Ede studying Civil Engineering, He is a media enthusiast, loves traveling, and has a special interest in personal development.

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3 Comments

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Nigeria Records 571 New COVID-19 Cases, Total Rises To 32,558

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Nigeria has recorded 571 new cases of coronavirus, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 32,558.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) made this known via its Twitter handle on Sunday.

571 new cases of #COVID19Nigeria; Lagos-152, Ebonyi-108, Edo-53, Ondo-46, FCT-38, Oyo-20, Kwara-19, Plateau-17, Osun-14, Bayelsa-14, Ekiti-14, Katsina-14, Akwa Ibom-11, Kaduna-11, Rivers-11, Niger-10, Ogun-7, Kano-6, Cross River-4, Bauchi-2.”

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Edo: APC’s Pastor Ize-Iyamu accused of laundering N700m by EFCC

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The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Edo State, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, risks being arrested on July 14.

Ize-Iyamu may be arrested if he fails to appear before a Federal High Court in Benin City, Edo State for allegedly laundering the sum of N700m.

EFCC had informed a Federal High Court in Benin City, that Ize-Iyamu and his fellow suspects took possession of about N700 million without any contracts.

However, the court had on July 2 adjourned the matter to July 14 due to the absence of Ize-Iyamu, who was said to be indisposed.

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The trial had been delayed due to Ize-Iyamu’s absence, even as the presiding judge, Justice Mohammed Garba, had earlier validated the charges against him.

Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu is the first defendant in the suit No. FHC/BE21C/ 2016 filed by the EFCC, who accused the defendants of conspiring among themselves to commit the offence in March 2015, alleging that they took possession and control of the funds without any contract award.

The judge rejected the oral request for a prolonged adjournment of the case by the counsel to Ize-Iyamu, who argued that his client will not disobey the order of the court.

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Justice Garba stated that the last time somebody was here, he (the judge) made an order for the accused person to appear in court or face arrest.

The accused persons including former Deputy Governor of Edo State, Mr. Lucky Imasuen, Mr. Efe Erimuoghae-Anthony, and others are facing an eight-count charge of money laundering to the tune of N700 million meant to prosecute the 2015 general elections.

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