The Nigerian Bar Association, (NBA) has described the suspension of Justice Walter Onnoghen by President Muhammadu Buhari as as a coup against the judiciary.
NBA President, Mr Paul Usoro (SAN) also condemned the swearing-in of Justice Ibrahim Mohammed as Acting Chief Judge (CJN).
It said the action of the executive portends a slide into anarchy, adding, “It is also a complete deconstruction of the rule of law and due process”
“The NBA unequivocally rejects and condemns this attempted coup against the Nigerian Judiciary and evident suspension of the Nigerian Constitution by the Executive arm of the Federal Government.
“It amounts to an absolute breach of the constitution and the usurpation of the powers of the senate and the Nigerian Judicial Council,”Usoro said.
The statement noted that it was unfortunate that the executive arm of government purported to suspend the CJN on the basis of an alleged ex parte order of the Code of Conduct Tribunal.
“This is the same Tribunal that, to the knowledge of the executive, had, only the previous day, January 22, adjourned its proceedings to January 28 and has before it a Motion on Notice that is yet to be argued.
“The motion is seeking the same reliefs as were contained in the purported ex parte application for the suspension of the CJN, among others,” the statement read in parts.
It called on the Federal Government to avert the looming constitutional crisis precipitated by what it described as an ill-advised action.
“In particular, the NBA demands the reversal of the purported suspension of Justice Walter
“We also call on the National Assembly to assert its constitutional authority and powers and prevent this slide into chaos and erosion of the rule of law.(NAN)