Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen (file)
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has rejected the suspension of Justice Walter Onnoghen as the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN).
In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary Kola Ologbondiyan, the party condemned the action of President Muhammadu Buhari and asked the National assembly to urgently take legislative actions against him.
“The PDP calls on the National Assembly to immediately reconvene and proceed with legislative actions against President Buhari for this gross misconduct,” it said.
The opposition party issued the statement hours after President Buhari swore in Justice Tanko Mohammed as acting CJN.
It accused the President of attempts to impose what it described as an “illegal Chief Justice” on the nation.
It stated, “Such impunity cannot stand, as Nigeria is a nation governed by law and not by the whims and caprices of a dictatorial leader.”
The PDP, thereafter, called on Nigerians to reject the purported move to “suspend the nation’s constitution” and allegedly annex the judicial arm of government.
It described the suspension of Justice Walter as part of purported plots to rig the election, alleging that the President had realised he cannot win in the poll.
“President Buhari’s action in attempting to unilaterally appoint a Chief Justice and foist him on our country is a direct invitation to anarchy, national confusion and a monumental crisis capable of derailing our democracy and destroying our corporate existence as a nation” the opposition party claimed.
“There can be no two Chief Justices of Nigeria. Our constitution is clear on how a Chief Justice is appointed and removed as such does not lie on the prerogative of the President. As such, we urge all Nigerians and the international community to recognise only Justice Walter Onnoghen as the Chief Justice of Nigeria.”
The PDP called on the international community and particularly, the United States and the United Kingdom to note the action of the President.
It asked them to list President Buhari and the leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for proposed sanctions on “election riggers”.
The opposition party insisted that the present administration was allegedly making attempts to compromise the electoral process, saying that was why he rejected the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.
It also highlighted the appointment of a National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mrs Amina Zakari, as the chairperson of the collation centre, as another reason.
“The PDP wants President Buhari to know that this nation belongs to all Nigerians,” said the PDP.
“Our nation is a democratic state governed by the Constitution and the law and Nigerians will never allow anybody to appropriate rulership to himself outside the dictates of the law.”