The Embassy of the United States in Nigeria has questioned the avowed claim by President Muhammadu Buhari that the coming elections in Nigeria would be free, fair and credible.
The Embassy raised the doubts in the wake of the suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, without recourse to the legislature.
The Embassy in a release on its site sighted on Saturday, expressed concern over the action by President Buhari, which it observed raised a lot of criticisms within the country, and urged that the issues raised by the suspension be resolved quickly and peacefully.
The short statement read: “The Embassy of the United States is deeply concerned by the impact of the executive branch’s decision to suspend and replace the Chief Justice and head of the judicial branch without the support of the legislative branch on the eve of national and state elections.
“We note widespread Nigerian criticism that this decision is unconstitutional and that it undermines the independence of the judicial branch. That undercuts the stated determination of government, candidates, and political party leaders to ensure that the elections proceed in a way that is free, fair, transparent, and peaceful – leading to a credible result.
“We urge that the issues raised by this decision be resolved swiftly and peacefully in accordance with due process, full respect for the rule of law, and the spirit of the Constitution of Nigeria. Such action is needed urgently now to ensure that this decision does not cast a pall over the electoral process.”
Buhari had suspended the CJN who is facing trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) on Friday and swiftly swore-in Tanko Mohammed in acting capacity.
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