The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, will swear in the members of the various 2019 election petition tribunals on Saturday, January 26, probably to the distaste of the All Progressives Congress (APC) government.
The CJN’s media assistant, Awassam Bassey announced this on Friday in a statement obtained by CHECKPOINTCHARLEY.
Recall that opposition parties had alleged that the plot to remove the CJN from office is part of the plan by the President Muhammadu Buhari government to rig the 2019 general elections.
It is alleged that the government wants to remove Mr. Onnoghen and replace him with a more friendly judge, in preparation for the anticipated fallouts of the elections.
Apart from his trial, which foremost constitutional lawyers have said is unlawful, the Federal Government, via the Attorney General, Abubakar Malami, had officially asked the CJN to resign his office.
Rumours went round Friday morning that Mr. Onnoghen has done just that.
However, Mr. Bassey, in the statement, described it as absolute falsehood – the media reports (not CHECKPOINTCHARLEY) that the CJN has resigned his office, following current allegations against him.
In the statement, Mr. Onnoghen asked Nigerians to disregard the rumour and added that he is still performing his role as CJN and “will be swearing in members of the 2019 National Assembly, Governorship & State Assembly Election Petition Tribunals tomorrow (Saturday 26th January 2019).”
It read, “There’s absolutely no truth in the rumours making the round that the Hon. Chief Justice of Nigeria, His Lordship Hon. Mr. Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen, GCON, has resigned his office. It is fake news!
“The Hon CJN was in the office all through yesterday (Thursday) and sat in court. As part of his duties, the Hon CJN will be swearing in members of the 2019 National Assembly, Governorship & State Assembly Election Petition Tribunals tomorrow (Saturday 26th January 2019).”
The case against the CJN at the CCT was adjourned till January 28.
But the Court of Appeal on Thursday ordered the tribunal to suspend sitting, pending the determination of the appeal before the court, brought by Mr Onnoghen who wants his trial stopped for lack of merit.
The Court of Appeal will rule on the matter on January 30.