Onnoghen: U.S uncomfortable with suspension

The United State has expressed concerns over the suspension of Walter Onnoghen, chief justice of Nigeria, without support from the senate.

In a statement by the US embassy on Saturday, it said it noted that the widespread criticisms that trailed the Onnoghen’s suspension which is widely believed to be unconstitutional and undermines the independence of the judiciary.

See full statement below

“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.”

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