#NigeriaDecides: PDP suspends Presidential Campaign to protest CJN’s suspension, as Sagay says nothing wrong with Buhari’s action


PDP National Chairman Uche Secondus, right, and Presidential Candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, at a PDP presidential campaign.

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said it has suspended its campaign for 72 hours to protest the suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen.

Less than twenty four hours ago, President Muhammadu Buhari controversially suspended Mr Onnoghen from office.

Member of the opposition parties particularly the PDP, its national leader and Senate President Bukola Saraki and the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), whose President Paul Usoro is currently undergoing corruption trial in a Nigerian Federal High Court have described the president’s action as illegal.

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In a statement, the national chairman of the PDP, Uche Secondus, said the party is suspending its campaign for 72 hours, in solidarity with Nigerians.

The campaign council, co-chaired by Secondus, also described Buhari’s action as a “dangerous and brazen assault on the constitution”

The PDP Presidential Campaign was scheduled to be in Benue State today, before the suspension.

In the same vein, the presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, Donald Duke has also faulted the present administration for suspending Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen.

The former Cross Rivers state governor described the CJN’s suspension as undemocratic and not right for the polity.

He described the action as a “blatant and arrogant display of power.”

Suspension of Onnoghen constitutional – Sagay

The Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption, Prof Itse Sagay (SAN), has defended the suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, who is facing charges for alleged fraudulent assets declaration.

The Federal Government announced the suspension of the Chief Justice on Friday, stating that the action followed an order of the Code of Conduct Tribunal dated January 23, 2019.

It added that the suspension would stand till the conclusion of his trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal.

President Muhammadu Buhari, on Friday, swore in Justice Ibrahim Tanko from Bauchi State as the acting Chief Justice.

Speak on the constitutionality of the suspension, Sagay in a telephone interview said Buhari was legally empowered to suspend Onnoghen.

He said, “It is constitutional. If you look at Section 292 of the constitution, paragraph one clearly makes provision for that where the Chief Justice is guilty of a code of conduct.

“The provision is very clear. It states that where the Chief Justice is guilty of a breach of the code of conduct, he can be removed by an address of two-thirds majority of the Senate. It is quite clear that the Senate itself cannot initiate that address; there is only one person who can do that and that is the President.”

Section 292 (1) of the constitution reads in part, “A judicial officer shall not be removed from his office or appointment before his age of retirement except in the following circumstances –

“In the case of Chief Justice of Nigeria, President of the Court of Appeal, Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Chief Judge of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Grand Kadi of the Sharia Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and President, Customary Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, by the President acting on an address supported by two-thirds majority of the Senate.”

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