The National Judicial Council (NJC) has summoned an emergency meeting over the suspension of Walter Onnoghen, chief justice of Nigeria (CJN). The meeting will be held in Abuja by 10am on Monday, January 28th.
According to sources in the NJC, neither the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria Ibrahim Muhammad nor the suspended CJN Justice Walter Onnoghen, will be allowed to preside over the meeting.
The NJC is an organ of the judiciary that is responsible for the Appointment, Promotion and Discipline of Judicial Officers. It was in 2016, responsible for the nomination of Justice Onnoghen to President Buhari to be confirmed as the 17th CJN. President Buhari had on Friday, suspended Onnoghen and swore in the next most senior Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Tanko Muhammad, as the Acting CJN. He based the decision on corruption allegations pending against Onnoghen. The action had elicited varied reactions both within and outside the country, coming too close to a general election that will kick-start next month.
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has said it was shocked by the last minute postponement of the presidential and National Assembly elections earlier scheduled to hold on Saturday, February 16, 2019.
The labour union advised the federal government to declare a two or three-day public holiday to enable workers travel to cast their votes following voter apathy that may have greeted the postponement of the elections, The Nation reports.
The president of the NLC, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, in a statement said many Nigerians would not have been able to vote due to logistics problems if the election held.
“We at the Nigerian Labour Congress join other Nigerians in expressing our shock at the last minute postponement of the presidential and National Assembly elections scheduled to hold on Saturday, February 16, 2019,” Wabba said.
“We share in the pains of those who in an uncommon show of patriotism, had to travel long distances to perform their civic duty. We similarly understand the outrage of those who had incurred huge and unquantifiable logistic costs. No explanation will be good enough given INEC’s repeated assurances and the zeal of Nigerians to cast their vote.
“However, given the fact that had the election taken place, a huge number of Nigerians would have been disenfranchised on account of gross and wide-spread logistic deficit, the postponement, as painful as it is, is a lesser evil of the two.”
The NLC urged Nigerians not to be disillusioned by the postponement but brace up for the rescheduled election.