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Breaking News: “Onnoghen vs FG” Nigerian Lawyers To Embark On Strike

The controversies and criticisms generated by the arraignment and planned trial of the the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen took another dimension following what some lawyers did.

In this regard, Lawyers in Cross River State, where Justice Onnoghen hails from, downed tools, yesterday to protest against what they described as the unconstitutional attempt by the Executive Arm of the Federal Government of Nigeria to intimidate, coerce, and desecrate the Judicial Arm of Government via the proposed arraignment of the CJN.

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Acting on the banner of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Cross River State, the lawyers in a communiqué issued and signed by the three branches that make up the NBA in the state, said they will resist any attempt by the Federal Government to arraign the CJN. They took the decision at the end of a joint emergency general meeting held at the State Judiciary Headquarters, High Court Complex, Calabar. Chairman of the Calabar Branch, Dr. Emmanuel Idaka, while reading the six-point communiqué said that the Cross River State Branch of the NBA was wholly in support and has adopted the position of national body on the issue as contained in the statement issued and signed by the NBA President, Chief Paul Usoro, SAN.

“We condemn in its entirety the unlawful manner in which the Federal Government and its agencies have assaulted, ridiculed and degraded the revered office of the Chief Justice Nigeria and indeed the entire Judiciary in the country by orchestrated media trial of the CJN. “Whilst not condoning corruption in all its ramifications, we insist that, the rule of law must be followed by the Federal Government of Nigeria in its avowed fight against corruption, especially as it has to do with the proposed arraignment of the CJN or any other Judicial officer in the Federal Republic of Nigeria as laid down in its locus classsicus of Nganjiwa vs FRN(2017)LPELR-43391(CA) where the Court of Appeal made it absolutely clear that any misconduct attached to the office and function of a judicial officer must first be reported to and handled by the National Judicial Council, NJC pursuant to the relevant provisions of the law.

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“We are aware that all these attempts are intended to precipitate the unlawful removal from office of the CJN which position they originally did not want him to occupy. It is pertinent to draw the attention of the initiators of this bizarre transaction to the fact that the removal of the CJN is regulated by the mandatory provisions of section 292(1) (a) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,1999 (As amended )which can only be effected by the President of the FRN acting on an address supported by two-third majority of the Senate. “Democracy strives under the rule of law.

The present administration of President Muhmmadu Buhari, having come under a constitutional democracy and not being a military dictatorship, must in all its dealings with the citizens of Nigeria and other Arms of the Government, abide by the Rule of Law,’’ they stated.

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On his part, Mba Ukweni, SAN, said this kind of anomaly must not be allowed to see the light of day as no sane person in Nigeria would allow such. “We are gradually sliding into totalitarianism in this country, this cannot happen to that revered office without due process. We condemn it in totality and we reject it in its entirety. This ordeal is an orchestrated media trial and cannot be allowed to stand or even see the light of day. When it happened to the legislature we raised our voices and at this point, we can no longer keep quiet for this to happen to the Judiciary. It is an anomaly and a desecration and can never be condoned, “he said.

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