Lawyers, judges and other judicial workers in Port Harcourt on Tuesday avoided the courts over the suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen by President Mohammadu Buhari.
Recall that President Mohammadu Buhari, on Friday, suspended the CJN over failure to declare his assets. The president claimed he was relying on a court order issued by the code of conduct tribunal but lawyers said the president had no such powers as only the senate has the power to decide on whether a judiciary head will be suspended.
Many said the president is jittery as his re-election bid will likely end in the court with the CJN being the ultimate decider in chief, that is why the president moved against him.
However, the Nigerian Bar Association, after its emergency meeting on Monday directed members to shun courts nationwide for two days to protest the unconstitutionality of the president’s action.
NBA ordered all lawyers in Nigeria to boycott the courts across the nation for two days between Tuesday, January 29, and Wednesday, January 30, to protest the crisis in the judiciary.
The action, according to the NBA, is protest what it called the alleged constitutional infractions in the suspension of Walter Onnoghen as Chief Justice of Nigeria.
The umbrella body of the Nigerian lawyers made the decision at an emergency meeting of its National Executive Committee (NEC) held at the NBA House, Plot 1101 Muhamadu Buhari Way, Cadastral Zone A00 Central Area, Abuja, according to Sahara Reporters.
The report said only the statutory NEC members attended the meeting and these are the national officers, past presidents, past general secretaries, branch chairmen, branch secretaries, branch NEC representatives and chairmen and secretaries of sections
RESOLUTION FROM THE NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING OF THE NIGERIAN BAR ASSOCIATION
1) NBA Condemns the unconstitutional suspension of our CJN.
2) NBA recognized Walter Onnoghen as the CJN.
3) NBA to commence a two day warning strike with from effect tomorrow ie 29th and 30th January, 2019.
4) A three man committee has been set up to interface with our learned colleagues in Government to prevail on the President Buhari to reinstate the CJN.
5) NBA will not and never recognise Tanko Mohammed as acting CJN.
6) NEC ratified all actions taken by the President of the Bar as it relates to the suspension of the CJN.
Many of the courts visited by our correspondent were shut as lawyers took to the streets to protest against the suspension of the CJN.