Senate Challenges Onnoghen’s Suspension at Supreme Court

The Senate has filed a legal action over the replacement of Walter Onnoghen, Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) with Ibrahim Muhammad.

The upper legislative chamber on Monday filed a case at the Supreme Court, seeking interpretation on whether President Muhammadu Buhari acted within the provision of the constitution in his suspension of Onnoghen.

Also, the lawmakers asked the highest court in the land to determine whether the action of the president amounts to usurpation of the powers of the senate as provided for in section 292 of the constitution.

In a statement, Yusuph Olaniyonu, spokesman of Senate President Bukola Saraki, said the suit made the senate cancel the plan to reconvene.

“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 subjudiced,” he said.

“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.”

It remains unclear if the decision not to reconvene the senate had to do with reports that the ruling All Progressives Congress had planned a hostile takeover of both chambers of the National Assembly.

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