Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
The Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara, has said that the suspension of Justice Walter Onnoghen as the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), by President Muhammadu Buhari without recourse to the constitution is an indication that the country is now a full blown dictatorship.
Dogara in a statement he personally signed, said no part of Sections 157 and 292 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) supports the “purported” suspension of Onnoghen and appointment of an acting CJN.
However, the Speaker stated that Buhari’s action against the CJN did not come as a surprise, as there had been a gradual but progressive erosion of democratic values under the present administration, as the President had never hidden his disdain for the rule of law.
He said the constitution never contemplated a situation, where there would be a suspended CJN and an acting CJN, noting that with the current development, it was obvious that Buhari now had his own CJN, while Onnoghen would continue to serve as the CJN of the country, until he is removed in line with the provisions of the constitution.