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ONNOGHEN: Senate waited in vain for judiciary, NBA to act —Abaribe

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Senator-Eyinnaya-Abaribe

Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe, has accused the judiciary and the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) of shying away from criticising President Muhammadu Buhari when he suspended former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen.

According to Abaribe, the law did not allow the President to unilaterally remove the CJN without recourse to the Senate.

He further said that the Senate waited in vain for the NBA and the judiciary to act in order to save the situation.

Abaribe made this comment while speaking on Tuesday at the Rule of Law Symposium at the ongoing NBA Annual General Conference in Lagos. He spoke on the topic “Independence of the judiciary beyond letters of the law.”

He said, “The question we ask is, with apologies to Wole Soyinka, if the Bar association is a tiger, where is your ‘tigritude’?

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“And the reason we ask this question is simple: we find the bar association blowing muted trumpet when the judiciary is under pressure.

“In the matter of Onnoghen, we waited for the Bar association, nothing happened; we waited for his fellow judges, nothing happened and everybody was looking at us.

“And what were we waiting for? The law is very clear that you can’t remove the Chief Justice without coming to the Senate. Yet, it happened and nothing was done.

“The law does not give the Senate any right to go beyond the Constitution and the Constitution is very specific.”

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