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Uproar as Nigeria’s President Buhari Suspends CJN Onnoghen Before Clections

In the wake of Nigeria’s presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled for February 16, President Muhammad Buhari has suspended Nigeria’s top judge pending the outcome of his disputed trial on corruption charges.

Nigeria’s President, Buhari shakes hands with suspended
Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen

In a tweet by presidential aide Bashir Ahmad says “President @MBuhari suspends the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen and appoints Mr Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad as acting CJN,”

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Onnoghen was charged on January 12 for breaching the code of conduct for public officials by failing to declare several foreign currency bank accounts. This resulted to outcry by opposition parties who claimed that the government was attempting to manipulate the judiciary

The chief justice is the head of the Supreme Court, which would hear any complaint about the results of next month’s vote, at which Buhari is seeking re-election –a contest in which Onnoghen would rule if any dispute emerged about the outcome.

Before he became chief justice in 2016, Buhari is said to have delayed the appointment of Onnoghen hence prompting speculation that Buhari was not keen to endorse his candidacy

Onnoghen is due in court at the Code of Conduct Tribunal next week.

But on Thursday he secured an interim Court of Appeal injunction ordering the lower court to halt proceedings, pending a ruling on his application to throw out the case.

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Written by PH

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