Ben Nwabueze, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, has called for the resignation of President Muhammadu Buhari, over the suspension of Walter Onnoghen, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN.
He also asked Abubakar Malami, the Attorney-General of the Federation, AGF, and Danladi Umar, the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, to resign over the issue.
In a statement, the Elder Statesman said that the roles the three played in the suspension of the CJN, is part of a plot to manipulate the 2019 Presidential election.
Recall, that on January 25, Buhari suspended Onnoghen, and swore-in Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad, the next in order of seniority, as the new Acting CJN.
Nwabueze said that by the action, Buhari had subverted the Constitution in a “most condemnable” way, hence the need for him to resign.
He raised three lines of argument, in which he questioned the CCT’s “power to order or direct the President to suspend the CJN”.
He also questioned Buhari’s right to carry out the order, adding that, the circumstances in which the CJN was suspended, suggested a pre-meditated plan to subvert the Constitution.
“President Buhari’s suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria from Office, is in itself a most condemnable subversion of the Constitution, but his statement while announcing it to the public, makes the action so absurdly subversive”, the statement read.
“By this action the President has lost all his integrity and fitness to govern, and should not remain in 0ffice.
“The ‘administration’s avowed respect for the Rule of Law’ and for obedience of court orders, sound like a deliberate perversion of truth, as witnessed by Dasuki’s continued detention, four years after a court of law ordered his release on bail, and same as Ibrahim Yaquob El Zakzaky, two years after he was granted bail.”
Nwabueze also made reference to a report of a N10 million corruption allegation levelled against Umar, which he said makes the CCT chairman’s integrity and impartiality questionable.
“The exparte order issued by the CCT, on which the President relied as authority for suspending the CJN, calls in question the integrity of its Chairman, Justice Danladi Umar, as well as his impartiality as arbiter in the matter. Allegation of corruption has been levelled against Justice Umar, in the Sunday Vanguard, of 15th November, 2015”, the statement added.
“It is surprising that in spite of all this, Justice Umar is still in Office as Chairman of the CCT, which suggests that he is being kept there as part of a pre-planned subversive design, aimed at manipulating the 2019 Presidential election.
“This sad episode in our history, would not be completely resolved by the resignation of Justice Onnoghen, as is being suggested in some quarters, unless the President, as the person who brought this whole mess upon us, also resigns. The Attorney-General of the Federation, AGF, Abubakar Malami, SAN, and Justice Danladi Umar must also resign.”