The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has criticised the inauguration of 250 members of the election tribunal by the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad, a task already scheduled to be performed by Justice Walter Onnoghen, who was suspended from office on Friday by President Muhammadu Buhari following allegations of false assets declaration.
Kola Ologbodiyan, PDP’s National Publicity Secretary, in a statement, Justice Muhammad only allowed himself to be used to desecrate the hallowed temple of justice.
“The People’s Democratic Party notes the illegal swearing in of members of the election petitions tribunal by Justice Mohammed Tanko and surmised that his action was a complete nullity.
“In the face of our law, Justice Tanko cannot function as a CJN as there is no vacancy in that office since the 1999 Constitution (as amended) has no provision for two CJN at any particular time. Justice Walter Onnoghen is still in charge as the Chief Justice of Nigeria.
“It is also imperative for Justice Tanko to agree that, having allowed himself to be used to desecrate the hallowed temple of justice, his oath of office and oath of allegiance, the only option left for him is to quit the bench,” PDP said.
The party reminded Justice Mohammad of his membership of the panel set up by the NJC, which on March 14, 2018, forced Justice Obisike Orji to quit the bench and go on a compulsory retirement, for allowing himself to be sworn in as the Acting Chief Judge of Abia State without the recommendation of NJC.
“From Justice Tanko’s first illegal assignment, which is the swearing-in of election tribunal Justices for the forthcoming elections, Nigerians can now see the raison d’etre for his illegal appointment. This action is in itself a nullity and something cannot be built on nothing.
“Nigerians can recall that the PDP had always alerted that Muhammadu Buhari is bent on removing Onnoghen so as to replace him with a pliable CJN that would help him uphold his rigging plots & achieve his self-succession bid, having realized that he cannot win in any free & fair election,” the party stated
PDP wants President Buhari to know that Nigerians, irrespective of tribe, creed or political leaning, will never allow anybody, no matter how highly placed, to push our nation to the abyss of anarchy.