The Midwest Movement condemns inthe strongest words possible, the sacrilegious actions of suspension of thesubstantive Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), His Lordship Hon. Justice WalterOnnoghen and the purported appointing of an Ag. Chief Justice in the person ofIbrahim Tanko Mohammad, JSC. We herebyDEMAND the immediate annulment of this “coup” against the NigerianConstitution.
The reasons given by PresidentMuhammaduBuhari for taking these weighty and clearly unconstitutional steps areas flawed as they are an embarrassment to the entire Nigeria nation and MidwestRegion of Edo and Delta States in particular.
The provision of the Constitutionis very explicit on the processes for removing and replacing the Chief Justiceof Nigeria. The relevant provision is section 292 (1) (a) (i), which prescribesthat the CJN, can only be removed by the “President acting on an addresssupported by two/thirds majority of the Senate.”
The Constitution does not empowerthe President to suspend the CJN. The judiciary is a co-equal branch ofgovernment. By the separation of powers, checks and balances enshrined in theConstitution, *the CJN cannot be disciplined unilaterally by the Presidentunder any guise whatsoever! *
In effect, the CJN is notsubordinate to the President and is neither under the President nor are allother members of the judiciary.
While the Midwest Movement, asmost Nigerians, support the crusade against corruption, we reject any so-calledanti-corruption crusade which amounts to abuse of power. The country cannotafford the catastrophic consequences of undermining due process of law as thePresident has exhibited.
The Midwest Movement thereforealigns with all those who have condemned this presidential act of brazenlawlessness and call on the National Assembly to react appropriately.
On our part, we call on the goodpeople of Edo and Delta States to brace up for the titanic battle to rescueNigeria from the hands of lawless people in power whoever they may be. Weassure that no matter how hard lawless people will try, theirs is a lost causefrom the very beginning.
Nigeria shall survive them. Ithas always done so for many years; and with the people coming together andinsisting on the rule of law and it’s due processes, the country shall pullthrough this renewed assault against the rule of law and shall emerge even morestrengthened.
Long live the good people ofDelta and Edo State.
Long live the Federation ofNigeria.
Dr. Pedro Obaseki