A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has reportedly summoned President Muhammadu Buhari, the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Tanko Muhammad, and others to appear over the removal of Walter Onnoghen as the head of the judiciary.
Daily Trust reports that Justice Inyang Ekwo also directed members of the Federal Judicial Service Commission (FJSC), the federal government, the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), and the Senate to appear and show reason why they should not be restrained from initiating the confirmation of Justice Tanko Muhammad as substantive CJN
The report quoted Justice Ekwo as saying: “I have perused the processes in the ex parte and affidavits attached. I am of the opinion that none of the prayers can be granted by ex parte application.” It was learnt that a civil rights lawyer, Malcolm Omirhobo of the Omirhobo foundation brought an ex parte application asking the court to restrain President Muhammadu Buhari and others from initiating the confirmation of the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Muhammad. The report said Omirhobo asked the court to determine whether the office of the CJN was vacant as at January 25, 2019, when Tanko Muhammad was sworn in.
The rights lawyer also asked the court to determine whether the provisions of the constitution contemplate the removal of the CJN, Walter Onnoghen, by ex parte order of court. Earlier the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Onnoghen, was on Thursday, April 18, convicted of false and non-declaration of assets. The embattled ex-CJN had been arraigned by the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), following a petition brought against him by a group, the anti-corruption and research based data initiative. Onnoghen was charged on six counts, for allegedly failing to declare some of his accounts in the asset declaration form submitted to the CCB in December, 2016.