Speaker of House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara, said dictatorship was now full-blown in Nigeria with President Muhammadu Buhari’s purported suspension of Mr Walter Onnoghen as CJN.
“As of today, Nigeria is now Germany in the wake of the 1933 Reichstag fire. Our democracy is on fire, ignited by the very people who swore to protect and defend it. That this fire must not convert the Chancellor to Fuhrer, as it happened in Germany in 1933, depends on our collective response and that of the international community. We must not bow our knees to dictatorship; not now, not ever again,” Dogara said in a statement on Saturday.
The Speaker stated that no provision in sections 157 and 292 of the 1999 Constitution supported the President in purporting to suspend CJN or swearing in an acting CJN.
Dogara also noted that the Constitution did not contemplate a situation whereby the Judiciary would have a suspended CJN and acting CJN at the same time.
He said, “Therefore, it is right to posit, as some have done, that the President now has his own Chief Justice to do his bidding while Nigeria has a sitting CJN until he is removed in line with the provisions of the constitution.”
He added, “With the unconstitutional suspension of CJN by Mr Buhari, the world has been served with notice that Nigeria is now a full-blown dictatorship.
“This did not come as a rude shock except to those that have been blind to the gradual but progressive erosion of democratic values in the polity as Buhari’s government has never hidden its disdain for the rule of law.”