He said: “Considering the nature of the type of war we are now engaged in, the military cannot function effectively without public support. If we juxtapose this with the increasing focus and the criticism of military operations at both local and international levels, the need to act within the laid down military operations, therefore, becomes undeniably imperative,” he said.
However, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, expressed concerns over allegations raised by some Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO), about the military disregarding human rights and international laws.
“It is no longer news that several reports by Non-Governmental Organisations have alleged grave violations of international laws and human rights by the Nigerian military. Unfortunately, these mostly unverified allegations have overtime portrayed the military in a bad light and have, as well, impacted negatively on our fight against insurgency.
“While most of the allegations are untrue, they nevertheless caused mistrust between the military and civil populace, while also affecting relations between Nigeria and some of its allies,” Abubakar said.
Recall that Tanko has maintained that suspended Justice Walter Onnoghen, remains the substantive Chief Justice of Nigeria. Muhammad said he would step aside once the Code of Conduct Tribunal or the Appeals Court rules in favour of Onnoghen. He, however, insisted that President Muhammadu Buhari did not need the permission of the National Judicial Council (NJC) to appoint an acting Chief Justice of Nigeria.
This was part of Justice Muhammad’s response to a query given to him by the NJC. Justice Muhammad noted that the NJC ought to be consulted only when a substantive CJN is being appointed or re-appointed. He said, “In my respectful view, the National Judicial Council has no role to play in the appointment of an acting Chief Justice of Nigeria in the first instance, that is to say on first appointment. The council comes in where the appointment as the acting CJN is to be renewed or extended. I humbly refer to Section 231(4) of the 1999 Constitution.”
“It was for the larger interest of the judiciary and the constitutionality that I accepted to be sworn in as acting CJN with the conviction that if the order of January 23, 2019, is eventually set aside, the status quo would be restored. But before it is set aside, there should be no vacuum in the office of the CJN and the chairman of the NJC.”
“On January 25, 2019, I was summoned to the Aso Villa at the instance of the President. Prior to the summons, I was not aware of the fact that the Code of Conduct Tribunal made any order on January 23, 2019. Furthermore, beyond what I read in the newspapers and watched on the television just like any other Nigerian, I was not privileged to see any of the processes filed by the parties before the tribunal.”
“Hence, I could not really appreciate the merit or demerit of divergent positions. On the 25th day of January, the President swore me in as the acting CJN and not as the substantive CJN. Justice Walter Onnoghen remains the CJN until he is removed from office in accordance with the provision of the constitution. He is only suspended.”
Source: Concise News/Native Reporters
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