Agbakoba sues AGF, NJC over Justice Onnoghen’s suspension

Dr. Olisa Agbakoba


Rights lawyer and a former president of the Nigerian Bar Association, Dr. Olisa Agbakoba SAN, has charged the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and the National Judicial Council (NJC) to court over the suspension of Justice Walter Onnoghen as the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN).
Dr. Agbakoba  has also asked the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos to declare as unconstitutional, President Muhammadu Buhari’s approach to suspending Justice Onnoghen.

Agbakoba prayed the court to determine, “Whether by the combined interpretation of Section 153 (1)(i), Paragraph 21 (b) of the 3rd Schedule and Section 292 (1) (a) (i) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as (amended) the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon. Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen can be suspended or removed from office except on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council or the President acting on an address supported by two-thirds majority of the Senate.”
He, therefore,  considering the legal questions above, prayed the court for reliefs including a “declaration that by the combined interpretation of Section 153 (1)(i), Paragraph 21 (b) of the 3rd Schedule and Section 292 (1)(a) (i) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as (amended), the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon. Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen cannot be suspended or removed from office except on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council or the President acting on an address supported by two-thirds majority of the Senate.
“Any such further order or orders as the Honourable Court may deem fit to make in the circumstance.”
Agbakoba said that "the grounds of the claim is that Judicial Officers including the Chief Justice of Nigeria enjoy Judicial Immunity and have constitutionally guaranteed tenure of office that can only be interfered with by the administrative action of the National Judicial Council or the President acting on an address supported by two thirds majority of the Senate."
No date has been fixed for the hearing.