The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, (SERAP) has given the National Judicial Council (NJC) five days to take over the trial of the Chief Justice of the Federation (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen.
In a statement by its Senior Legal Adviser, Ms Bamisope Adeyanju, the group sent an open petition to the Next-In-Rank to the NJC Chairman urging the council “to immediately take over from the Code of Conduct Tribunal the case of the CJN Justice Walter Onnoghen with a view to setting up a committee to investigate the allegations of breach of constitutional asset declaration requirements against him.”
SERAP also requested Justice Onnoghen to step aside from his role as Chief Justice pending the outcome of the investigation into the allegations against him.
According to the group, the NJC should refer the CJN’s case to appropriate anti-corruption bodies for prosecution if the allegations against him are proven to be true.
Similarly, they also want the acting CJN, Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammed to recuse himself from the process, as the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria.
Their demands come two days after President Muhammadu Buhari suspended Justice Onnoghen.
Following the suspension, Justice Ibrahim Tanko Mohammed has been appointed as the acting CJN.
According to the president, the development is based on the request of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, pending the completion of Onnoghen’s trial.
Justice Tanko Mohammed who hails from Bauchi State is the most senior justice of the Supreme Court.