Nigeria govt suspends top judge before elections

Nigeria govt suspends top judge before elections

Nigeria govt suspends top judge before elections

"This brazen dictatorial act is the latest action in the ongoing rape of our nation's hard earned democracy by those who dined with anti-democratic forces and is symptomatic of the increasing desperation that President Buhari and the cabal pulling the strings have as February 16, 2019 draws near", he said in a statement. Nigeria, Africa's top oil producer, has a history of election rigging and vote results being disputed in the courts.

Buhari, of the All Progressives Congress (APC), came to power in 2015 on a pledge to stamp out corruption and is seeking another four-year term.

"It risks affecting both domestic and global perceptions on the credibility of the forthcoming elections".

The European Union Election Observation Mission said it called on "all parties to follow the legal processes provided for in the constitution and to respond calmly to any concerns they may have". Senate president Abubakar Bukola Saraki has said the president in such a matter can not act alone.

Nigerians have pointed out that the suspension occurred shortly before the chief justice was to swear in members of various election petition tribunals.

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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"Our country is falling apart under the leadership of President Buhari and it is time to stand up for democracy", the main opposition candidate, Atiku Abubakar, 72, said in a statement.

The judge had admitted a failure to comply with assets declaration requirements, he said, adding: "The suspension is morally justified and legally justified".

Speaking with the Sun on the matter, Ozekhome further called on lawyers and the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) "to shut down all the courts in protest of Justice Onnoghen's suspension until he is returned to his seat". Onnoghen's side has argued that the charges lack merit.

He said, "We are of the opinion that Justice Walter Onnoghen having risen to the exalted position of Chief Justice of Nigeria should have exhibited a high level of decency in his conduct as the number one Judicial Officer in the country".

The Senate president said this in a statement on Friday, January 25.

Muhammed, like the president, is from Nigeria's largely Muslim north while Onnoghen is from the predominately Christian south. Buhari has been accused of stacking his government with people from the north.

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