Senate heads to court over Onnoghen’s suspension

The Senate has approached the Supreme Court to challenge the recent suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Mr. Yusuph Olaniyonu, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President of the Senate, disclosed this in a statement in Abuja on Monday.

The upper legislative chamber, according to Olaniyonu, is seeking interpretation of the apex court on whether Buhari’s action is within the ambit of the Nigerian Constitution.

Reports had earlier indicated that the senators were planning to hold an emergency session over the suspension of the CJN on Tuesday.

Consequently, the session had been called off, having been rendered sub judice following the filing of the case, he said.

The statement reads: “Earlier today, the Senate filed a case in the highest court of the land, the Supreme Court, seeking its interpretation on whether President Buhari acted within the provision of the constitution in his suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon. Justice Walter Nkannu Onnoghen.

“Or whether the action of the President does amount to usurpation of the powers of the Senate as provided for in Section 292 of the constitution.

“Following the filing of the case, the matter of the suspension of the CJN, which is the main issue for which the Senate had planned to reconvene tomorrow, has become sub judice.

“Therefore, in line with the standing rules of the Senate not to debate issues that are already pending before the court, the reconvening of the Senate tomorrow has been put off.

“The previous adjournment of the Senate till February 19, 2019 stays,” he said.

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