The crisis rocking the office of the Chief Justice of Nigeria since President Muhammadu Buhari suspended Justice Walter Onnoghen and appointed Justice Tanko Muhammad as Acting CJN is far from over.
The nation’s judiciary is now in complete disarray over who is the authentic Chief Justice of the country as lawyers within the judicial Bar and Bench are for and against the way and manner president Buhari suspended Onnoghen and appointed Muhammad Tanko.
A Port Harcourt based advocacy group, Good Conscience Assembly has warned lawyers not to allow the situation to erode public confidence in the judiciary.
Founder of Good Conscience Assembly, Barr. Dan O called on both Supreme Court and National Judicial Council to save the nation’s judiciary from imminent collapse, adding that what the president has done was capable of making litigants not to see the court as the last hope of the common man.
He said, “the independence of the judiciary as enshrined in the constitution was largely responsible for the confidence that litigants have in court judgments. If the President is allowed to sack judges at will contrary to the constitution, the judiciary will collapse.
“I call on Supreme Court and NJC to rise above political sentiments to ensure that the judiciary remains an organ of government not an agency of the executive arm of government,”
Nigerians are earnestly waiting to hear the outcome of the CJN saga currently pending at the corridors of the Supreme Court and the National Judicial Council.
Recall that the Senate had on Tuesday approached the apex court in the country for a constitutional interpretation in respect of Buhari’s action to suspend Onnoghen following an order from the Code of Conduct Tribunal to do so as well as the immediate swearing-in of Muhammad Tanko without recourse to the NJC and Senate.
NJC on its part has demanded within seven days that Onnoghen should explain the controversy surrounding his assets declaration, adding that Muhammad should explain why he allowed himself to be sworn in by the president.
Lawyers on the other hand under the Nigeria Bar Association in many states of the federation complied with the association’s national directive to boycott court sittings for two days in protest of crisis rocking the CJN.