Emmanuel Ogebe: Photo credit: alamy

A US-based lawyer, Emmanuel Ogebe, has appealed to the European Union to sanction President Muhammadu Buhari over the suspension of embattled Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Justice Walter Onoghen.

In a letter addressed to the EU Head of Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS Ambassador Ketil, on Friday evening, Ogebe said the suspension amounts to executive criminality.

He said the body should invoke sanctions on the President for allegedly tinkering with the nation’s legal system.

Ogebe wrote: “I wish to alert you of actions bordering on treason undertaken by the Federal Government of Nigeria today.

“Today shortly after my visit to the Supreme Court, Gen Buhari swore in Justice Tanko purportedly as the new CJN while “suspending” the constitutional Chief Justice of Nigeria Justice Walter Onnoghen. I saw both Justices and there was no inkling of this travesty.

“This is executive criminality and Buhari’s latest congenital coup attempt done precipitously to preempt the swearing in of election tribunal judges tomorrow.

“It is illegal, unconstitutional and has no effect whatsoever. APC does not appoint judges and the president has no powers to appoint and remove judges unilaterally.

“This proves that the president is neither learned nor learning and wholly incompetent to function in a constitutional order. If an ex-dictator with 12 lawyers in his government including a SAN as his vice could still screw up in such an unfathomable manner, it is clear that Buhari is hopelessly irredeemable.

“Buhari risks impeachment if he insists on shutting down an arm of government for his ill-fated re-election bid.

“Please put your delegation, the European Union, the observer mission all on notice that Buhari has dealt a lethal blow to the legal system in the desperate gasps of a sinking regime in as brazen a manner as ballot box theft.

“Please invoke necessary sanctions to revoke the visas of president Buhari and all his officers linked to thus ignoble and perfidious actions.

“We shall share with you the names of those we find culpable in this matter.”

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