Onnoghen: Lawyers to boycott courts for two days
The Nigerian Bar Association Monday said its members will embark on a two-day boycott of courts to protest the suspension of Nigeria’s Chief Justice, Walter Onnoghen.
“The Nigerian Bar Association rising from her NEC meeting has decided to embark on a two-day warning boycott of courts all over Nigeria over the suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria by President Buhari,” the NBA said on Monday evening.
President Muhammadu Buhari Friday said Onnoghen was suspended because of the ‘respect’ his government has for the Rule of Law.
“In line with this administration’s avowed respect for the Rule of Law, I have wholeheartedly obeyed the Order of the Code of Conduct Tribunal dated 23rd January 2019,” Buhari said.
But critics said the president’s move was in violation of the same Rule of Law.
The government dragged Onnoghen before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) where he is facing a six-count charge of non-declaration of assets.
The president said apart from the “grievous” allegations in the petition against Onnoghen, “the security agencies have since then traced other suspicious transactions running into millions of dollars to the CJN’s personal accounts, all undeclared or improperly declared as required by law.”
He said the suspended CJN’s excuse that the non-declaration was due to mistake and forgetfulness was not known to law.
The trial is the most high-profile since Buhari, whose 2015 election campaign was hinged on his readiness to tackle corruption, became the president.
Critics of the government’s move against the top judge said the president wanted to hamstrung the judiciary and put it in a position where it can do the bidding of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in case the outcomes of the presidential elections are disputed.
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