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Tanko’s  action on election tribunal, a nullity – PDP

Tanko’s  action on election tribunal, a nullity – PDP

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From Ndubuisi Orji,  Abuja 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said that the swearing-in of members of Elections Petition Tribunals by the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN),  Justice Mohamed Tanko, is illegal and  a nullity. 

The PDP in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary,  Kola Ologbondiyan,  said in the face of the law,  Justice Tanko cannot function as CJN,  as there is currently no vacancy in that office. 

According to the opposition party, Justice Walter Onnoghen remains the CJN, as the 1999 constitution (as amended) does not make provision for two CJN at a time. 

It reads in part: “Justice Tanko to note that he is allowing himself to be used by despotic forces in their bid to truncate our hard-earned democracy.

“It is also imperative for Justice Tanko to agree that, having allowed himself to be used to desecrate the hallowed temple of justice, his oath of office and oath of allegiance, the only option left for him is to quit the bench. The PDP reminds Justice Tanko of his membership of the panel set up by the National Judicial Council (NJC), which on March 14, 2018, forced Justice Obisike Orji to quit the bench and go on a compulsory retirement, for allowing himself to be sworn in as the Acting Chief Judge of Abia State without the statutory recommendation of the NJC.

“From Justice Tanko’s first illegal assignment, which is the swearing-in of election tribunal Justices for the forthcoming elections, Nigerians can now see the raison d’etre for his illegal appointment. This action is in itself a nullity and we caution the said justices to be reminded of the popular maxim that something cannot be built on nothing.” The PDP said it had always alerted Nigerians “that President Buhari is bent on removing Justice Onnoghen so as to replace him with a pliable CJN that would help him uphold his rigging plots and achieve his self-succession bid, having realized that he cannot win in any free and fair electoral contest.”  The opposition party, therefore, urged “the world to note that when Nigerians were in the trenches for this democracy, General Muhammadu Buhari, as he was then known, was in cahoots with the last dictator against the will of the people. It is therefore not strange that today, President Buhari, once again, wants to subdue our democracy and subvert the rule of law.”

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