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Nigeria opposition party pauses election campaign over suspension of judge

Nigeria opposition party pauses election campaign over suspension of judge

Shehu said this hours after the US, UK and European Union reacted to the suspension of Walter Onnoghen, chief justice of Nigeria (CJN) by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Nigeria's chief justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen is charged for failing to declare his assets.

The President suspended Onnoghen on Friday and appointed Justice Ibrahim Tanko Mohammed to take his position, although in acting capacity. Buhari said he was acting in accordance with a ruling by the tribunal - a ruling which Onnoghen is challenging.

"Onnoghen's illegal removal was aimed at stopping the swearing in of members of the 2019 general election petition tribunal", said CUPP spokesman Ikegna Imo Ugochinyere.

The British High Commission also expressed "serious concern over the suspension", saying in a statement: "It risks affecting both domestic and worldwide perceptions on the credibility of the forthcoming elections".

On Thursday, an appeals court had issued an interim order to stop charges being brought against the chief justice.

"It risks affecting both domestic and global perceptions on the credibility of the forthcoming elections", the statement reads.

London and Washington this week threatened consequences for anyone involved in electoral fraud or violence, including the refusal of visas.




The party's candidate, businessman and former vice president Atiku Abubakar, is the main challenger to Buhari in the upcoming poll.

Shehu said the federal government welcomes the prevailing keen interest and partnerships for successful elections and a peaceful Nigeria.

The elections will hold February 16.

Using similar language, the Nigerian Bar Association - the umbrella body for lawyers - said Buhari had mounted an "attempted coup against the Nigerian judiciary".

He said, "It is constitutional".

The Situation Room is made up of CSOs working in support of credible and transparent elections in Nigeria and includes such groups as Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC), CLEEN Foundation, Action Aid Nigeria, Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), Enough is Enough Nigeria, WANGONET, CITAD, Partners for Electoral Reform, JDPC, Proactive Gender Initiative, Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth & Advancement (YIAGA), RECHDI, CWAE, Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) and\ NISD.

Buhari also accused him of frustrating the war against corruption by freeing graft suspects before his court. It states that where the Chief Justice is guilty of a breach of the code of conduct, he can be removed by an address of two-thirds majority of the Senate.

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