The Accountable Leadership for Better Nigeria Initiative, ALBNI, a civil society organisation promoting democracy and civil rights in Nigeria has cautioned players in the controversial suspension of Justice Walter Onnoghen as the Chief Justice of Nigeria from derailing the nation’s democracy.
A statement issued on Monday by ALBNI’s Director, Media & Communications, Bode Gbadebo warned that with President Muhammadu Buhari acting outside of his powers by removing the head of another autonomous organ of government without following due process, Nigeria’s democracy could be made vulnerable and endangered.
“While not standing in the gap against the prosecution of the Honourable Justice Walter Onnoghen over alleged refusal to fully declare his assets before the Code of Conduct Bureau, we consider it arbitrary, dictatorial and abuse of power for President Buhari to resort to self help in removing the CJN.
“ALBNI aligns itself with the positions being canvassed by eminent Nigerians that Mr. President reverses himself on the unlawful suspension and thereafter demand for the immediate resignation of the embattled CJN once restored to pave way for justice and fairness.”
In the same vein, the hurriedly packaged Acting CJN, Justice Tanko Muhammad should be immediately discharged from that arrangement, the group said.
The group further demands that all relevant documents be put in the public space as all the officers concerned are employees of the citizens of Nigeria.
In addition, ALBNI urged the CJN to speak directly to Nigerians who are his employers on the situation; or that he should enter the dock to answer charges against him in line with the best practices.
“Similarly, the Senate must commence immediate investigation into this confusion as a matter of public urgency being the only other arm of government necessary to deal with this.
“Thereafter, we demand that all election tribunal lists, nominations or appointments by the suspended or acting CJN be made subject to the approval of the joint legislative Chambers of the House of Representatives and the Senate in an emergency session.”