The National Judicial Council has weighed in on the controversy that has engulfed the Nigerian Judiciary since the unlawful suspension of the Chief Justice Of Nigeria by President Muhamadu Buhari without due process.
After the emergency meeting of the NJC held on Tuesday, 29th January, 2019, the NJC reached the following resolutions –
1. That Hon. Justices Walter Onnoghen, GCON and Tanko Muhammad, CFR respond to petitions written against them within 7 days.
2. That the petition written against CCT Chairman, Danladi Yakubu Umar be forwarded to the Federal Judicial Service Commission (FJSC)
3. That the NJC would reconvene on 11th February,2019
This is a victory for Nigerians, members of the Nigerian Bar Association and members of civil society who protested on what was dubbed a coup against the Judiciary by the Federal Government led by President Buhari.
It should be noted that if the NJC allows the unlawful suspension of Justice Onnoghen to stay, then every Governor in Nigeria will believe they have the powers to remove the Chief Judges of their states without the recommendations of the CJN.
The NJC is the only constitutional body recognised as having the powers to discipline members of the Judiciary and their intervention in the chaos caused by the President’s order is timely in restoring the rule of law and the doctrine of separation of powers.