Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, SAN, on Sunday said the Court of Appeal does not have the power to restrain the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, from performing its exclusive functions.
The Court of Appeal had ordered the CCT from continuing the trial of the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Walter Onnoghen pending its determination.
But the CCT ordered the Federal Government to suspend Onnoghen who had failed to appear before it on allegations of false asset declaration.
Speaking on Channels Tv Politics Today, Falana said “the Court of Appeal cannot make an order restraining the CCT from performing what belongs to it exclusively.”
Falana also flayed the Federal Government in the way they handled the issue of the CJN, saying that “a government can never be in a hurry or allowed to engage in jungle justice for self-help.”
“The government must learn to respect due process. You can’t fight corruption without following due process,” he added.
He insisted that the power to suspend a sitting Judge in Nigeria, including the Chief Justice, had to be on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council, NJC.
On the inauguration of the 250 Election Tribunal members by the Acting CJN, Ibrahim Mohammed, Falana said the acting CJN could not have appointed the tribunal members as he had no power to do so.
He confirmed that the Chief Justice of Nigeria had no role whatsoever in the selection of Election Petition Tribunals.
“They are selected by the President of the Court of Appeal; they are only inaugurated by the CJN. An acting CJN could not have appointed 250 tribunal members on Friday and inaugurated them on Saturday, that is not possible.”