OPINION: Comparing Jonathan And Buhari’s Suspension of Justices In 2011 And 2019


SAHARANEWS – The intention is to set the records straight on this because people have been comparing Jonathan’s constitutional action in 2011 to Buhari’s tyrannical action in 2019 regarding the suspension of the CJN. Read below:

According to the constitution, the President can remove the Chief Justice of Nigeria under 1 of 2 conditions:

  1. Recommendation by the National Judicial Council
  2. Vote by 2/3 majority of the senate

  1. In 2011, Justice Ayo Salami was suspended by the National Judicial Council who recommended his suspension to the president. Whatever was the circumstance of his suspension, it was binding. The president then exercised his constitutional powers and suspended Justice Salami.
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Conclusion: Goodluck Jonathan’s exercise of his presidential powers in 2011 was constitutional

In 2019, neither the National Judicial Council nor the Senate had voted or recommended to the president for the CJN to be suspended. The CJN cleverly suspended sitting of the NJC to delay his ordeal, just like Saraki cleverly suspended sitting of the senate when he was being troubled by the executive.

Justice Onnoghen’s case was at the CCT with pending motions from the Court of Appeal (Higher court than the CCT) to stay on proceedings.

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Conclusion: Buhari’s suspension of CJN Onnoghen was illegal and unconstitutional and likely an impeachable office as this is an assault on democracy



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