Members of the eight branches of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in Rivers State Tuesday staged a peaceful protest at the Federal High Court complex in Port Harcourt over the suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The National Executive Committee (NEC) of NBA had at its emergency meeting in Abuja on Monday directed lawyers across the federation to embark on a two-day boycott of all courts.
Speaking to newsmen during the protest, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Faye Dikio, called on the National Assembly to rise up and correct the mistakes made by Buhari in the suspension of Onnoghen.
Dikio said: “There is confusion; confusion in the sense that the Constitution is not adhered to. What the President is doing is unconstitutional.
“So, it is definitely into confusion we are heading to. We pray to God that this issue will be corrected and he is not capable of correcting it. The National Assembly should rise up and correct it.”
Speaking also, Chairman of NBA, Port Harcourt Branch, Sylvester Adaka, said the action of the association is not about tribe or politics, but about ensuring the procedures and processes set out by the Constitution are adhered to.
Adaka said: “We are all aware of the events that have been u folding in the last few weeks concerning the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, who ended up being unconstitutionally suspended from office.
“The Nigerian Bar Association, National Executive Committee, had its emergency meeting yesterday in Abuja. And rising from that meeting, it was resolved that lawyers all over the country should boycott all the courts for two days. It is a warning boycott for two days to press home our demand that whatever the Federal Government wants to do with the CJN’s issue must be done within the ambits of the law. It should be done constitutionally.
“They should remember that we have that we have three independent arms of government, the judiciary, the legislature and the executive. And none of the arms has the right to lord it over the other two arms. And if there be need to discipline, remove or suspend the head of any of the three arms, there is a constitutional provision as to how it should be done.
“And what we say is that that procedure should be followed. That’s all. We are not in anyway condoning corruption: what we are doing is not about the CJN. It is not about tribe, politics or whatever; it is about saving out democracy, it is about rule of law. It is about ensuring that procedure and processes set out by the Constitution is adhered to.”