Supreme court judges shun inauguration of election tribunals

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Judges of the supreme court, who are mostly colleagues of Ibrahim Muhammad, the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), were absent during the inauguration of members of the election tribunal in Abuja on Saturday.

Of the 15 supreme court judges, only Sidi Bage and Muhammad were at the swearing-in ceremony.

The event was the first official assignment of Muhammad who was sworn in by President Muhammadu Buhari to replace the embattled former CJN, Walter Onnoghen.

Buhari had on Friday suspended Onnoghen over allegations of false assets declaration.

The president’s reason for this was order of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), where Onnoghen is currently standing trial over a six-count charge.

Read also: “This decision is unconstitutional”- US Embassy weigh in on Onnoghen Suspension

The suspension of the former CJN has since become a subject of national and internal controversy, with many describing Buhari’s action as anti-democratic.

The US, UK and EU have condemned the action, stating that it could have effect on the general election.

The acting CJN, Muhammad said the judiciary “is in trying times”, tasking members of the bar and bench to stand, protect and “uphold the integrity of this arm of government”.

“I encourage you to uphold and enhance the honour and standing of the judiciary and I pray that the Almighty God will bestow upon you strength, good health and wisdom in the performance of your duties,” Muhammed said.

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