Onnoghen: BMO wants NBA President to Resign from NJC over Courts Boycott

CJN Walter Onnoghen

The Buhari Media Organisation has asked the Nigerian Bar Association’s President, Paul Usoro (SAN) to resign his membership of the National Judicial Council.

The organisation said the call by NBA for lawyers to boycott courts over the suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, showed that Usoro lacked an understanding of basic principles of the rule of law.

BMO made the call following the ruling of the Court of Appeal that refused to stop hearing of the case of false assets declaration filed against Onnoghen at the Code of Conduct Tribunal.

The group in a statement signed by its Chairman, Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary, Cassidy Madueke, said the ruling was a vindication of President Muhammadu Buhari’s suspension of the CJN.

The NBA and opposition political parties had condemned the action of the president for swearing in Justice Tanko Muhammad as Acting CJN.

BMO said, “That the ruling by the Appeal Court re-affirmed the fact that Justice Onnoghen has a serious matter to answer to, and that the Tribunal has the powers to entertain that matter rightly, and as such also has the power to make an order for his suspension pending the conclusion of the matter.

“The call by Paul Usoro (SAN), that the courts be boycotted showed that the man who heads the NBA lacks an understanding of basic principles of the rule of law and does not appreciate the issue of jurisdiction of courts to matters.

“We also commend the various NBA branches that did not heed the senseless call for a boycott but went ahead to attend court sessions and honor their clients and the temple of justice.

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“This also shows that Paul Usoro has lost his credibility in the NBA due to his proclivity to defend corruption and stand for what is wrong – a characteristic that should not be synonymous with the Nigerian Bar Association.”

The BMO added that a man who is facing serious allegations of corruption with the EFCC should not be found deciding the fate of people with similar moral burdens.

“This should not be so as the association is made up of thousands of members with honor and integrity who should not be identified with corruption.

“Paul Usoro, a man facing serious allegations of corruption in the court is now using the Nigerian Bar Association to fight the institutions constitutionally mandated to fight corruption, including the courts.

“His kangaroo instruction to legal practitioners to boycott the courts was not just embarrassing and unfortunate; it was a mockery and an insult to the legal profession. Asides the fact that lawyers owe it as a duty to represent their clients in courts, they are not meant to insult their practice and the temples of justice by boycotting the courts.”



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