Christiana Gokyo, Jos
Catholic Action Nigeria has expressed shock over the dramatic suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Samuel Nkanu Walter Onnoghen, by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Catholic Action Nigeria is part of the global movement in the Catholic Church known as CATHOLIC ACTION, and is a movement of the Lay Faithful that promotes knowledge of Catholic doctrine, and the Church’s social teachings. It promotes leadership values and good governance.
A statement was signed and issued to Conscience Triumph in Jos on Sunday, by Peter Agbonteen, KSJI, Governor, Board of Trustees of Catholic Action Nigeria and Joseph Adom Kyaagba, Mni, KSM 1st Vice Chairman, Council of Patrons Catholic Action Nigeria.
According to the statement, their responsibility is to deepen the formation of the Lay Faithful from a value-based Christian perspective, and to create a platform for Nigerians (Catholics and Non-Catholics) with special focus on the young people to be adequately molded into active political players guided by the teachings of the Church and her Gospel values, pursuant to the development and economic growth of our nation.
It stated that it will never condone any breach of the law by any person or institution, including the CJN. However, Catholic Action Nigeria urges restraint and compliance with the rule of law at all times.
They also appreciate the several words of caution both from local and international communities on the need for the executive arm of government to be guided strictly by the rule of law.
While acknowledging the public outcry by the leadership of the National Assembly, it however observed that, given the strategic position and powers vested on the Assembly, this is not enough, and calls on the National Assembly to rise up to their statutory function.
They observed that, the foregoing notes of the impending potential dangers that this conflict portends to the disruption of the 2019 general elections, our democracy, national unity, and national security.
The statement urged President Buhari to respects the rule of law and reverse his actions immediately, and that the acting CJN, Justice Tanko Muhammed, CON, respects the NJC and cease to act in such capacity but rather work in tandem with the NJC to save the Judiciary from this executive intimidation and lawlessness.
They also called on all judicial officers, especially of superior courts and the NBA, to rise up in defence of the judiciary by refusing to acknowledge the authority of the acting CJN and insist that the President reverses himself in this ill-advised venture and follow due process of law in resolving the matter.
“As this is largely a constitutional matter, we urge the suspended CJN to seek judicial interpretation and challenge his suspension in the court,” they stated.
The Catholic Action Nigeria further urged the National Assembly to take immediate drastic actions to remedy the situation, and urge all Nigerians to rise up in one accord to condemn this executive lawlessness and constitutional breach.
It also advised Nigerians not to embark on any form of violence as an expression of displeasure, as that will fuel anarchy, which is counter to our aspirations for a truly One Nigeria.