The Speaker of Nigeria’s House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has accused President Muhammadu Buhari of dictatorship in removing the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Onnoghen.
Dogara, in a statement, said with the suspension, the world has been served with notice that Nigeria is now a full-blown dictatorship. Justice Onnoghen was suspended on Friday by Buhari.
Dogara said the decision by Mr Buhari did not come as shock.
“This did not come as a rude shock except to those that have been blind to the gradual but progressive erosion of democratic values in the polity as President Buhari’s Government has never hidden its disdain for the rule of law.
“We have watched in disbelief as the Government recklessly deploys institutional prerogatives; routinely flouts the rule of law; subverts and assaults democratic Institutions; refuses to accept opponents as legitimate; suppresses citizens civil liberties(especially those of opponents) and trample underfoot the media. In short, the Government’s tyrannical and authoritarian credentials are loathsomely legendary.
“No provision in Sections 157 and 292 of the 1999 Constitution as amended supports the President in purporting to suspend the CJN or swearing in an acting CJN. The whole idea of a limited government is that the president’s powers are limited by law and it is ultra vires his powers to act in the absence of explicit legislative authorization. That is representative democracy at its best which our 1999 Constitution as amended guarantees,” Dogara said.
He called on President Buhari to remember that he has no better legacy to bequeath other than a good name: which cannot be achieved without honour, character and integrity. He urged Nigerians to be eternally vigilant to preserve liberty and justice in the country as “despotism can only prosper in Nigeria if good men and women do nothing.”
He said Nigeria is now Germany in the wake of the 1933 Reichstag fire.
“Our democracy is on fire; ignited by the very people who swore to protect and defend it. That this fire must not convert the Chancellor to Fuhrer as it happened in Germany in 1933 depends on our collective response and that of the international community. We must not bow our knees to dictatorship: not now, not ever again,” he concluded. & �0|