Nigeria: NJC Sets Up Committee to Investigate Allegations Against Onnoghen

Walter Onnoghen.
13 February 2019

The National Judicial Council (NJC) Wednesday inaugurated a five-member committee to investigate allegations against the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen and the acting CJN, Tanko Mohammad.

The council said the committee will be headed by Hon. Mr. Justice S. A. Akintan, CON, a retired Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

The committee will "determine all the petitions and responses and report to the council for a final decision."

The NJC also said it received another petition against Mohammad by the Action People's Party (APP). Details of the petition are still unknown.

Prior to the NJC's decision, the Code of Conduct Tribunal, where Onnoghen is facing trial on six counts of false assets declaration, Wednesday ordered the arrest of the suspended CJN and ordered security agencies to produce him at the tribunal on Friday.

"I want to see the defendant in the dock on Friday," Umar said.

President Muhammadu Buhari in January suspended Onnoghen and replaced him with Muhammad, in an acting capacity.

The president said he acted on the order of the Conduct Tribunal.

But critics said the president's move was in violation of the Rule of Law and accused him of wanting to hamstrung the judiciary and to put it in a position where it can do the bidding of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in case the outcomes of the presidential elections are disputed.

The main opposition People's Democratic Party said it was "an act of dictatorship."

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