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CSOs Call For Reverse of Suspended CJN Within 7 Days

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Civil Society Organisations on the platform of YIAGA Africa Initiative, have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to reverse the suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon. Justice Walter  Nkanu  Samuel Onnoghen within 7 days.

Recall that on Friday, the President had announced the suspension of Chief Walter Onnoghen as he swore in Ibrahim Tanko Muhammed as the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria.

Executive Director, YIAGA Africa, Samson Itodo made the call to Journalists at the recently concluded YIAGA Africa Watching the Vote, Media Roundtable on the 2019 Elections  and Parallel Vote Tabulation.

In her welcome remarks, Watching The Vote, Project Director, Cynthia Mbamalu said “what is important for us is that before the elections, we put all our plans as an institution that will deploy observers and ensure we have better partnership with election stakeholders” .

She stated that as part of YIAGA WTV initiative, 882 observers were deployed  to all 774 Local Governments to observe pre election proceedings, while 3034 Polling Unit Observers will be deployed across the 1515  of the 120,000 polling units across Nigeria.

Samson Itodo said “every attempt to rationalize this action taken by the executive and the President is completely irresponsible and should not be tolerated in anyway”

“I urge all men and women of reason to ride up and call on the President to reverse this suspension within 7 days”

“Because how can the President suspend the head of another arm of government on the basis of an order by the CCT which was issued on 23 based on the time stamp on the order, but the Court of Appeals to also issued an order on the 24th asking the CCT to stay proceedings”.

“Anyone who wants equity must come to equity with clean hands, must also do equity but in this particular regard beyond the optics and the fact that we are close to the elections, is the fact that it is completely condemnable and unacceptable”

According to Itodo “I think it is important to say that first, as civil societies we don’t condone any form of corruption and we know that this government in its campaign manifesto strongly condemns corruption and has designed programmes or policies to fight corruption”

“But it is important to emphasise that you can’t fight corruption without the rule of law as the law is very important and compliance is very important”.

He said “What happened yesterday was executive rascality and should be condemned in every respect, because the President overreached himself and it was just unfortunate because the optics are completely wrong”

He asserted that “every attempt to rationalize this action taken by the executive and the President is completely irresponsible and should not be tolerated in anyway”

“I urge all men and women of reason to ride up and call on the President to reverse this suspension within 7 days” he said

“How can the President suspend the head of another arm of government on the basis of an order by the CCT which was issued on 23 based on the time stamp on the order, but the Court of Appeals to also issued an order on the 24th asking the CCT to stay proceedings” he queried

He maintained that “Anyone who wants equity must come to equity with clean hands, must also do equity but in this particular regard beyond the optics and the fact that we are close to the elections, is the fact that it is completely condemnable and unacceptable.

“We are just twenty something days to the elections. I thought that the President would have respected the oath that he swore to protect and defend the Constitution and its fidelity, but to suspend the CJN is completely unacceptable”

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