The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) on Friday said the ruling of the Court of Appeal on the suspension of Justice Walter Onnoghen as Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) has vindicated President Muhammadu Buhari.
The group made this known in a statement jointly signed by Messrs Niyi Akinsiju and Cassidy Madueke, the group’s Chairman and Secretary, respectively, in Abuja.
The statement said that the ruling by the Appeal Court re-affirmed the fact that Onnoghen has a serious matter to answer, and that the Tribunal has the powers to entertain that matter rightly.
It added that the tribunal also has the power to make an order for the suspension of the embattled CJN pending the conclusion of the matter.
The statement added that the ruling affirmed that the call by Paul Usoro (SAN), Chairman of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), that the courts be boycotted showed that Usoro lacks an understanding of basic principles of the rule of law.
It noted that the ruling of the Court of Appeal led by Justice Abdul Aboki also showed that the NBA chairman does not appreciate the issue of jurisdiction of courts to matters.
The statement also commended various NBA branches that did not heed the senseless call for a boycott, but went ahead to attend court sessions and honour their clients and the temple of justice.
“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,” it said.
The statement therefore called on the NBA chairman to excuse himself from membership of the National Judicial Council (NJC).
“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,’’ It added.
Besides, the statement noted that the NBA chairman had also brought disrepute to the association, stressing that the NBA was becoming an institution of ridicule because of the tainted leadership of Usoro.
“This should not be so as the association is made up of thousands of members with honour and integrity who should not be identified with corruption.’’
The statement noted that Usoro was now also using the NBA as a tool to fight the institutions fighting 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,” it said.
The statement said the call for a boycott of courts by Usoro was indeed corruption fighting back.
It added that Usoro already had a damaged reputation and lacked moral authority to lead the NBA, noting that his leadership is bringing the association to disrepute.