Supreme Court Strikes out Onnoghen’s Referral Appeal


The Supreme Court yesterday struck out a referral appeal praying the court to determine the constitutionality or otherwise of the removal of Justice Walter Onnoghen as the Chief Justice of Nigeria.

The referral appeal filed by Dr. Samuel Nwawka, was struck out by Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour, who led five justices, after the appellant failed to appear and was not legally represented.

Nwawka had approached the apex court to invoke Section 22 of the Supreme Court Act to determine constitutional questions relating to the ways and manners the federal government caused the removal of Onnoghen as CJN through ex-parte application at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) on February 23, 2019.

The appellant prayed the apex court to determine whether or not the action of the first to six respondents in applying for and ordering the removal of Onnoghen before his appearance at the Code of Conduct Tribunal is lawful, constitutional, arbitrary, outrageous and a flagrant violation of Onnoghen’s rights to presumption of innocence.

Respondents in the appeal are federal government, Abubakar Malami, Justice Tanko Muhammad, Dr Mohammed Isah (CCB Chairman), Danladi Umar (CCT Chairman), Honourable Julie Anabor (CCT member), National Judicial Council (NJC), Head of Service of the Federation and the Senate as
1st to 9th respondents respectively.