The United States of America has demanded for respect for the Rule of Law and Constitution in the handling of the suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen.
Onnoghen was on Friday suspended by President Muhammadu Buhari and replaced in acting capacity with Justice Tanko Adamu from Bauchi State.
Reacting to the development on Saturday, the United States of America in a statement by the country’s Embassy in Nigeria, expressed deep concern on the impact of the decision of the Executive to suspend and replace Onnoghen without the support of the Legislature close to the general election.
The statement reads in full: “The Embassy of the United States is deeply concerned by the impact of the executive branch’s decision to suspend and replace the Chief Justice and head of the judicial branch without the support of the legislative branch on the eve of national and state elections.
“We note widespread Nigerian criticism that this decision is unconstitutional and that it undermines the independence of the judicial branch. That undercuts the stated determination of government, candidates, and political party leaders to ensure that the elections proceed in a way that is free, fair, transparent, and peaceful – leading to a credible result.
“We urge that the issues raised by this decision be resolved swiftly and peacefully in accordance with due process, full respect for the rule of law, and the spirit of the Constitution of Nigeria. Such action is needed urgently now to ensure that this decision does not cast a pall over the electoral process.”