A group of lawyers under the aegis of Coalition of Lawyers Against Corruption in Nigeria (COLAC), has vowed not to let President Muhammadu Buhari have his way in the suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Walter Onnoghen.
The group noted that President Buhari has crossed his boundaries and must be brought to order. The gave him seven days to reverse the suspension else they will do the needful.
On Friday afternoon, President Buhari suspended Mr. Onnoghen, who has been facing false asset charges for two weeks. He said the judge had become a taint on the judiciary and he was compelled to take radical measures to ease him out of office.
The president consequently swore in Justice Ibrahim Tanko Mohammed who is the most senior Justice of the Supreme Court, as the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria.
In a statement release by COLAC National Coordinator, Barrister Olusegun Bamgbose, the group said by this singular act, Buhari has shown that he does not have any regard for the Supreme law of the land which is the constitution. The statement reads:
“The reason given by the President that he was ordered by the CCT to wield the big stick is legally and morally watery. It’s unreasonable and illogical.
“It has become very obvious that the President does not have any iota for the Supreme law of the land which is our Constitution.
“The President has resulted to self-help in dispensing justice. The President should, however, be reminded that his lack of respect for the rule of law is capable of truncating our nascent democracy.
“Judiciary is a noble institution and we will never for any reason permit anyone to desecrate and decimate it. The Constitution must be respected at all times.
“The President has really crossed his boundaries and must be brought to order. His action as President will certainly overheat the polity.
“We as Lawyers will not allow him to have his way this time around. We are giving him 7 days to rescind the decision or we shall do the needful.
“Other things being equal, Nigeria will be clocking 20 years of practising democracy in Nigeria and any attempt to subvert democracy will be totally resisted.
“We strongly urge the National Assembly to timely caution the President because illegality begets illegality. The time to say no to Mr. President is now.”