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President Buhari suspends Onnoghen, appoints Tanko Mohammed as Acting CJN

President Muhammadu Buhari has suspended the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen an appointed Ibrahim Tanko Mohammed as the acting CJN.

The President said the development was based on the request of the Code of conduct Tribunal pending the completion of Onnoghen’s trial.

Justice Tanko Mohammed is the most senior justice of the Supreme Court.

Justice Onnoghen is being tried over allegations of failing to declare his assets.

At the tribunal on Tuesday (January 22), the Federal Government had through it councel, Aliu Umar, applied for Onnoghen to step aside.

Mr Aliu Umar told the tribunal that the application asking him to step aside was not aimed at removing him as the CJN and Chairman of the National Judicial Council but to enable him excuse himself from the duties of a CJN so he could defend himself before the tribunal.

But counsel to Onnoghen, Wole Olanipekun (SAN), told the three-man panel that the orders of the Federal High Court, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court and National Industrial Court restrained the Tribunal from proceeding with the trial of the CJN.

He stated that the defendant had appealed to the Court of Appeal, challenging the order of the Tribunal to hear the motion challenging its jurisdiction along with the trial.

The senior lawyer added that the appeal at the Appellate Court had been adjourned till Thursday, January 24.

At the resumed hearing of the appeal on Thursday (January 24), the Court of Appeal in Abuja barred the CCT from proceeding with the case.

The court adjourned the case to January 30 pending the determination of the Appeal.

The President said the development was based on the request of the Code of conduct Tribunal pending the completion of Onnoghen’s trial.

Justice Tanko Mohammed is the most senior justice of the Supreme Court.

Justice Onnoghen is being tried over allegations of failing to declare his assets.

At the tribunal on Tuesday (January 22), the Federal Government had through it councel, Aliu Umar, applied for Onnoghen to step aside.

Mr Aliu Umar told the tribunal that the application asking him to step aside was not aimed at removing him as the CJN and Chairman of the National Judicial Council but to enable him excuse himself from the duties of a CJN so he could defend himself before the tribunal.

But counsel to Onnoghen, Wole Olanipekun (SAN), told the three-man panel that the orders of the Federal High Court, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court and National Industrial Court restrained the Tribunal from proceeding with the trial of the CJN.

He stated that the defendant had appealed to the Court of Appeal, challenging the order of the Tribunal to hear the motion challenging its jurisdiction along with the trial.

The senior lawyer added that the appeal at the Appellate Court had been adjourned till Thursday, January 24.

At the resumed hearing of the appeal on Thursday (January 24), the Court of Appeal in Abuja barred the CCT from proceeding with the case.

The court adjourned the case to January 30 pending the determination of the Appeal.

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