OrderPaperToday– The Senate has backtracked from its earlier decision to cut short its break in a bid to discuss the suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Onnoghen by President Muhammadu Buhari.
On Thursday last week, the red chamber adjourned plenary for the purpose of the forthcoming elections but due to the constitutional logjam arising from the Onnoghen saga, it decided to hold a special session.
However, a statement released by the Clerk of the Senate, Nelson Ayewoh, on Monday, restated the earlier resumption date of 19th of February, 2019.
Meanwhile in another statement by the Special Adviser (Media and Publicity) to Senate President, Yusuph Olaniyonu, the world was informed that the upper legislative chamber has filed a case at the Supreme Court.
The case is to seek interpretation of whether “President Muhammadu Buhari acted within the provision of the constitution in his suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Hon. Justice Walter Nkannu Onnoghen or whether the action of the President does amount to usurpation of the powers of the Senate as provided for in Section 292 of the constitution.”
With this move, the matter of the suspension of the CJN “which is the main issue for which the Senate had planned to reconvene tomorrow, has become subjudiced,” the statement said.
But in a swift reaction however, the Senate Leader, Sen. Ahmed Lawan (APC, Yobe) distanced senators of the ruling party from the court filing.
A statement signed by Lawan said: “It has come to the notice of the Senate APC caucus that the Senate has approached the supreme court for the interpretation of the suspension of Justice Walter Onnoghen by President Conmander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces.
“For the records, the Senate never met to take such a resolution and at no time mandated anyone to approach the Supreme Court on this matter on its behalf.
“Consequently, the Senate APC caucus dissociated itself from the said request for the legal interpretation of the suspension.”