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Bola Tinubu, National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), says President Muhammadu Buhari’s intention was not to remove Walter Onnoghen as the Chief Justice of Nigeria.

He, however, added that Buhari’s action is a fair response on the part of the presidency to the situation.

Onnoghen was suspended last Friday based on a directive by the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) before whom he is standing trial over allegations of fraudulent declaration of assets.

In a letter entitled: ‘Reply to Atiku’s State of the Nation’, published by ThisDay newspaper, Tinubu took a swipe at Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), over his comments against the president’s action.

Atiku had delivered a State of the Nation address on Monday, in which he referred to Buhari’s action as unconstitutional.

However, the response penned by Tinubu read: “Strange that Atiku would choose to depict the current situation so inaccurately as to stir emotions unduly. He claimed that CJN Onnoghen has been removed.

“However, this is not so. He has been temporarily suspended. Atiku and his advisors should know and recognise the vast legal difference between -‘suspension’ and ‘removal’.

“Yet you persist in conflating the two in what you say is a pursuit of justice. While true you may be in pursuit of something. It is not justice. If justice was your goal, you would acknowledge that the CJN has only been temporarily suspended not permanently removed. Thus, your recourse to saying that the President violated the constitutional provision regarding the removal of a CJN is inaccurate in that Buhari never intended to remove the CJN.

“What he has done is to have the CJN temporarily get out of his chair so that the serious matters against him can be heard by someone other than himself. Should the charges show themselves to be wrong or unproven, the CJN will be automatically reinstated as the head of the Nigerian judiciary.”

Speaking further on the inaccuracy of Atiku’s position on the issue, Tinubu added: “Nothing has been taken from the CJN that cannot be restored if the facts warrant such restoration. Thus, President Buhari conditionally suspended the CJN.

“By doing so, this allows for the case to move forward without the CCT or others fearing the CJN might use his position to unduly interfere with proceedings. If the CJN is exonerated, then he will return to his position. If not exonerated, then a more permanent discipline awaits him.

“This is an imminently fair and balanced approach, especially given the fact that the constitution and other laws really do not provide clear and unambiguous guidance on how to proceed in a case whether the CJN is the defendant under this unique fact pattern.

“Atiku and his cohort(s) seek to turn their personal disappointment into a burning national issue. They seek to manufacture a constitutional crisis where none exists. There is no need to quake at the solitary incident of the interim suspension of a justice pending the legal resolution of serious criminal claims against him.

“If this matter is shorn of the political trappings it has acquired, there is no fairer way to handle the matte.”

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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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Senate takes final decision on Tanko Muhammad as substantive CJN

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Senate takes final decision on Tanko Muhammad as substantive CJN Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad 1024x576

The Senate has confirmed Justice Tanko Mohammad as the substantive Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

The confirmation followed a two-hour question and answer session between the senators and Mohammad, who had been in acting capacity as CJN since January.

President of the Senate, Dr Ahmad Lawan announced the confirmation after a voice vote at plenary on Wednesday.

NAN reports that Mohammad who entered the National Assembly complex at exactly 10:10 a.m., went into closed-door session with the lawmakers at 11:13 a.m. and left by 1.06p.m.

The new CJN took turn to provide replies to questions from the senators in areas like financial autonomy of the judiciary, concept of imprisonment and corruption in the judiciary.

He also spoke on the concept of individualism and collectivism in administration of justice as it affects criminal matters.

Muhammad spoke extensively on the roles expected of the parliament in addressing alleged rot in the judiciary.

He urged National Assembly and states Houses of Assembly to review the criminal laws in the country to effectively fight corruption.

Speaking further, he said: “Nigerian judiciary is part of the Nigerian system. Therefore, I’m not surprised if some judges are corrupt, that doesn’t mean that those judges should not be identified and dealt with.

“The most worrisome of it is that it happens at the lowest ebb of the courts. This is where the main problem arises.

“Let me say generally that that corruption inherent in the person who is corrupt and the person who is corrupted. But all of them should be made to face the music.

“I therefore urge the National Assembly and the state House of assembly to take a look at our criminal laws.

“The parliament should sanitise the society. Much as we in the judiciary want to do that, the parliament should make new laws and amend old ones,” he said.

On judicial autonomy, he said: ” We have started seeing the autonomy. But go to some states, the judiciary is still refused ordinary monthly grants to run its offices.

“It is the duty of the legislature to touch these places. To close all ends and identify all people being corrupted.

“It is my view that it is only the legislature that can put things right.I can’t go and ask or beg anybody for anything, I’m contented with what I have.”

Later in his remarks, Lawan thanked the CJN for coming to answer some questions from the Senate.

He also promised him that the 9th Senate would ensure an harmonious relationship with the judiciary.

“My Lord, thank you for coming to answer questions from members of the Senate. We are all ready to work with the judiciary.

“We must ensure that the judiciary is properly funded and remunerated. If we are asking them to live above board. We should do the right thing,” he said.

The confirmation of the CJN followed a recommendation made by the National Judicial Council (NJC) attached with his curriculum vitae distributed to the lawmakers on Tuesday.

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Buhari has failed, cannot solve Nigeria’s problems – Soyinka blows hot

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buhari has failed, cannot solve nigeria’s problems – soyinka blows hot Buhari has failed, cannot solve Nigeria’s problems – Soyinka blows hot Wole Soyinka 1024x576 1

Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka, has insisted that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration has failed.

According to him, the problems confronting Nigeria were beyond Buhari.

Soyinka stated this while playing host to students who paid him a visit on his 85th birthday.

The literary icon made it clear that while state governments differ in success rates, “central government has failed”.

“The problems of this nation are beyond the solution that can be offered by this government, that’s the first admission; they have to stop thinking in partisan government

“There has always been a major problem with successive governments. It’s easier on the state level to say that a particular state is definitely doing better than another state. But the central government has failed, that’s my view in the main.

“There is a minimal level which any government which has been elected to power must achieve to be considered a true representative of the people.

“Look at what’s happening today with the cattle all over the place, that’s a security issue which should never have reached this level. That singular act has resulted in hundreds of people being killed, farms were taken over; it has wiped away a lot of the positive achievements of the government.

“They need to confront this nation as a habitation of human beings where very serious issues like economy, security, health, even threats of secession come up every day and convoke at the same time, a national conference, what I call an Indaba across all section which we will all meet and debate everything, including the economy of this nation,” Soyinka said.

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