The body said the suspension broke the independence of the judiciary and the separation of powers.
“International human rights standards provide that judges may be dismissed only on serious grounds of misconduct or incompetence,” said Diego Garcia-Sayan, the UN special rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, on Monday.
“Any decision to suspend or remove a judge from office should be fair and should be taken by an independent authority such as a judicial council or a court,” he said in a statement.
Garcia-Sayan, who is mandated by the UN Human Rights Council to investigate legal and judicial independence, said dismissing judges without following legal procedures or offering a chance to contest the decision was incompatible with the independence of the judiciary.
Buhari suspended Walter Onnoghen on January 25 following an order by a tribunal on public officials’ conduct and replaced him with Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad.
But four courts superior to the tribunal had already ordered a stay of proceedings and the tribunal had previously said it lacked jurisdiction over cases involving judicial officers, Garcia-Sayan said.
The UN statement said some of the judges and the defence lawyers involved in Onnoghen’s case had been subject to serious threats, pressures and interference.
Meanwhile, the National Judical Council, NJC, on Monday issued a fresh query to Onnoghen.
The body also set up a preliminary complaints assessment committee to review the responses given to it by Onnoghen, and the Acting CJN, Muhammad.
President Buhari greets IBB at 78
President Muhammadu Buhari has fecilitated with former president, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida on his 78th birthday.
In a message to the former Head of State, President Buhari said:
“On behalf of the Federal Executive Council, my family and all Nigerians, please accept my warm felicitations on your 78th birthday.
“On this special day of your life, the reminiscences of your courage and invaluable service to the army in protecting the sovereignty of the country come to the fore. Thank you for the role of statesman you are playing in the affairs the nation.
“As you age gracefully, the country will continue to look up to you for guidance and wisdom. May Allah continue to increase your health and grant you the strength to give your best to your family and the nation.”
Atiku vs Buhari: UK police, DSS petitioned over Cambridge certificate
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the February 23, presidential election, Atiku Abubakar and his party had questioned the certificate.
Abba Kyari, Buhari’s chief of staff, had told the election tribunal that he obtained the president’s “assessment” documents from Cambridge University.
The separate petitions both dated August 14, 2019, and which were forwarded by a legal practitioner, Kalu Agu.
The lawyer questioned the authenticity of the “certifying statement” said to have been obtained from the Cambridge Assessment International Education.
He asked the UK police and the DSS to probe the following: “Where did Mr. Abba Kyari get the certificate which he enclosed alongside his application form for the issuance of the said certifying statement which he claimed he procured from Cambridge Assessment International Education.
“Whether Mr Abba Kyari as an individual can apply for the said certifying statement not being an academic institution or an employer of the candidate.
“Whether the said certifying statement can be delivered to Mr Abba Kyari by hand as he claimed he signed and personally collected same by hand in the UK.
“Evidence of the said application and of the candidate’s authorisation to the Cambridge Assessment International Education for the release of the said certifying statement to Mr Abba Kyari.”
He added that “in the circumstance that the certifying statement is found to be forged, it will be of great service to both Nigeria and the United Kingdom that Mr. Abba Kyari is arrested and arraigned in a court of competent jurisdiction for forgery.”
Atiku and PDP had in a 43-page final address filed by their lead counsel, Dr Levy Uzoukwu SAN, Atiku and PDP claimed to have established the fact that Buhari does not possess the requisite academic qualification for the position of President of Nigeria.
In Final address filed on August 14, the petitioners said even Buhari’s own witnesses under cross examination admitted to the fact that Buhari does not possess a school certificate, being the basic requirements for contesting for the office of the president.
“We therefore submit that all the purported evidence led by the 2nd respondent (Buhari) to prove that he attended a secondary school or a primary school or that he attended some courses, is irrelevant because he did not rely on any of those purported qualifications in exhibit P1, he relied on primary school certificate, WASC and Officer Cadet.
“Equally futile is his attempt to prove that he can speak and write in the English language. That is all irrelevant to his inability to produce his primary school certificate, secondary school certificate or WASC and his Officer Cadet qualification, whatever that means. Officer Cadet is not a qualification or certificate under the Constitution and Electoral Act; nor is it known to any law.
On the purported Cambridge University certificate tendered by Buhari before the tribunal, the petitioners asked why, “it was easier for Buhari to go all the way to Cambridge in the United Kingdom to obtain a bogus documents that his own witnesses said was not a certificate, instead of just driving down the street in Abuja to the Army Headquarters or placing a phone call to the Secretary of the Military Board in Abuja to hurry over with his certificate or certificates.”
Still on the Cambridge University documents, the petitioners submitted that, “A comparison of the purported Cambridge Assessment International Education Certifying Statement of the purported West African Examination Council (WAEC) certificate and a certified true copy of the purported confidential result sheet of the University of Cambridge West African School Certificate of 1961 for the Provincial Secondary School, Katsina reveals many discrepancies in the suppose result.
Buhari Regime Unlikely To Let El-Zakzaky Travel Again -Report
Following the arrival of the leader of the Islamic. Movement in Nigeria. (IMN), Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, from India, top security sources in the President Muhammadu Buhari regime might bar the embattled Shia leader
from travelling abroad for medical treatment again while he remains in detention.
The IMN leader’s attitude and activities during his medical visit to India are part of the reasons he might not be given a chance to travel in the future for any medicals, Punch reports.
A top security official told the newspaper, “With what he has done confirming some of the security reports we had on him already, the government is not likely to allow him to travel abroad again, even if the court rules otherwise.
“The government has always insisted that he (El-Zakzaky) could be treated within the country. Now that his activities in India, including how he planned to meet his lawyers, had been revealed, I bet the government won’t take a second bet on him.
“At least, the government will consider security reports before taking any decision, even with any court ruling.”
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