To allow for his trial before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), the Federal Government has approached a court seeking the removal of the embattled Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN),Justice Walter Onnoghen.
The suit filed by Musa Ibrahim and Fatima Danjuma Ali on behalf of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) on Thursday, also prayed the court to remove Onnoghen as the Chairman of the National Judicial Council (NJC).
This move will ensure Onnoghen is not a judge in his own case while Bauchi state born Justice Ibrahim Muhammad who is in line in hierarchy would fill up the seat of the CJN until the determination of the substantive suit.
According to documents of the motion obtained by Punch Newspaper, a notice was brought in pursuance of Section 6(6) Paragraph 11 (1) of the Fifth Schedule, Part 1 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).
The Federal Government prayed the tribunal for an interlocutory order “directing the defendant/respondent to step aside as the Chief Justice of Nigeria and chairman of the National Judicial Council over an allegation of contravening the provision of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act CAP C15 Laws of the federation of Nigeria 2004 pending the determination of the case.
“An interlocutory order of the honourable tribunal directing the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to take all necessary measures to swear in the most senior Justice of the Supreme Court as an acting Chief Justice and chairman of the National Judicial Council in order to prevent a vacuum in the judicial arm of government pending the determination of the case.”
The fresh move against Onnoghen came after the National Industrial Court, Abuja, had on Monday restrained the Chairman of the CCT, Danladi Umar, the AGF, the Code of Conduct Bureau and the police from removing Onnoghen.
A Federal High Court in Abuja had also placed a restraining order on the trial of the CJN at the Code of Conduct Tribunal.
The court ruled that all parties in the suit should maintain the status quo till January 31, 2019, when it will hear the matter on the exparte motions brought before it.
Two separate suits were filed praying the court to stop the trial of Justice Onnoghen, over alleged false assets declaration.
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