Mr. Clement Nwankwo

Lawyer and rights activist, Clement Nwankwo, has described the suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen as bizarre, frightening and unconstitutional.

He said the removal of the CJN or other judges of superior courts in the country could only be possible when two/thirds of the Senate had voted in favour of such motion.

Nwankwo made this known when he made an appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Friday.

He said, “The law is very clear, Section 292 of the Constitution is very clear as to the removal of certain categories of judicial officers including the Chief justice of Nigeria, the President of the court of appeal and indeed judges of superior courts in this country.

“For the Chief Justice of Nigeria, you will require the Senate asking and voting on a two/thirds majority for removal of the Chief Justice of Nigeria under certain conditions and this would include misconduct or infirmity of mind.

“So, in that circumstance, we have no indication. It is only upon the Senate making this decision that the President may remove the Chief Justice of Nigeria or a justice of the supreme court.

“We have no indication that the President has received a motion from the Senate to remove the Chief Justice of Nigeria.

“What is happening is bizarre, frightening, unconstitutional and reminds one that, not even in the dark days of military rule have we seen this sort of action”.

Onnoghen who is being tried over allegations of failing to declare his assets, was on Friday suspended as the CJN by President Muhammadu Buhari.

According to the president, the development was based on the request of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, pending the completion of the trial.

Following the suspension, Justice Ibrahim Tanko Mohammed was appointed as the acting CJN.

Justice Tanko Mohammed who hails from Bauchi State is the most senior justice of the Supreme Court.

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