NJC under pressure to retire Onneghen, CUPP alleges

February 11th, 2019

* Says uncooperative NJC members threatened

*Justice Tanko to be confirmed as CJN

By Myke Uzendu, Abuja

The Coalition of Unit¬ed Political Parties (CUPP) has raised the alarm on plans by the Federal government to coerce the National Judicial Council (NJC) to forcefully retire Justice Walter Onnoghen and confirm Justice Mohammed Tanko.

They equally alerted that Federal government is also perfecting plans to deal with any Justice of the Supreme Court who does not buy into the retirement plot of Onnoghen.

The coalition in a statement by it’s 1st Publicity Secretary, Ikenga Ugochinyere Imo on Sunday in Abuja said it has been availed a copy of the purported draft resolution of the National Judicial Council handed down to the Acting Chairman of the Council (NJC), Justice Umaru Abdullahi Rtd from Katsina State, Former President of Appeal Court and Buharis former Class¬mate for possible adoption at the end of the meeting of the council tomorrow.

According to CUPP, “The compromised draft resolution contains the decisions that the Chief Jus¬tice of Nigeria Justice Walter Onnoghen be forcefully retired while the usurper of his office, Justice Tanko Mohammed be confirmed and his name recommend¬ed to the President for confirmation as the substantive Chief Justice of Nigeria. It also contains the defence for Justice Tanko Moham¬med that as at the time he made himself available in the Villa to be sworn in as Acting CJN did not have much of a choice as security operatives were detailed to bring him to the Villa on his way form the Mosque and he was only told why he was brought to the Villa when he was already in the Council Chambers,

“The Acting Chairman of the NJC Justice Umaru Abdullahi (Rtd) has already sealed a deal with the Presidency, has received the draft resolution and has al¬ready commenced his role of persuading members of the NJC to support the government and adopt the resolution. Justice Umaru Abdullahi who happens to come from Katsina State and was also a classmate of President Muhammadu Buhari at the Katsina Government Secondary School has reached certain understanding with the Presidency. Nigerians will recall that this same Umaru Abdullahi was one of the first Persons recruited by President Mu¬hammadu Buhari to defend his controversial Certificate sage by claiming that Buhari wrote the WAEC exam.

“The members of the NJC who have refused to be compromised have been promised that they will face the government mu¬sic. At least couple of the NJC members has been told that they can only say NO if they are sure nothing can be found on them otherwise they should comply.”

The coalition alleged that Justice Umaru Abdullahi is completely com¬promised and should step aside for compromising the meeting and decisions of the NJC and receiving a draft copy of resolution from the Presidential Villa. The precedent of the decision of the NJC according to them, which was used in the case of Abia State has been excused and Justice Tanko Mohammed ab-solved of any collaboration with the Executive to violate the constitution.

They (CUPP) pledged to continue to do all with¬in the ambits of the law to defend constitutional de-mocracy with all legitimate means.

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