In the wake of the rather surprising summons to the Code of Conduct Tribunal for the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, the South South governors have said the judge should snub the court summons.
The compulsion by the government on Onnoghen is due to an alleged failure to declare his real assets.
The move has been roundly criticised by most people who believe that this is a ploy by the APC to influence the elections.
The South South governors, in a communique signed by Henry Seriake Dickson, Governor of Bayelsa State, Nyesom Wike, Governor of Rivers State, Prof. Ben Ayade, Cross River State, Udom Emmanuel, Akwa Ibom State and Sen. Ifeanyi Okowa, of Delta State and they advised the judge not to go, stating that the summons is illegal.
The communique read: “We note that under Section 158(1) of the 1999 Constitution, the National Judicial Council, has ample powers to deal exhaustively with matters pertaining to allegations of misconduct and discipline of Judicial officers.
“Specifically, the NJC has the powers and clear procedures for investigating allegations, and recommending appropriate sanctions or disciplinary measures against judicial officials as a matter of first instance before any further steps.
“The judicial pronouncements in the cases of FGN Vs Justice Sylvester Ngwuta of the Supreme Court (January 9, 2018) and Justice Ngajinwa Vs FGN 2017 at the CCT have given validation to the express provisions of the constitution on this issue.
“We believe that the President, Muhammadu Buhari has a constitutional responsibility and huge moral obligation to defend our democracy.
“Therefore, we consider this step, which is directly aimed at humiliating the nation’s highest judicial officer and a prominent son of the region, as totally unacceptable as it is reflective of the South South story of endless marginalization and intimidation.”