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Ban on the Nigerian Supreme Justice raises international concerns

  The lawyers of Nigerian Supreme Judge Walter Onnoghen are pictured on the Code of Conduct Tribunal in Abuja



Attorney General of the Supreme Court Walter Onnoghen, here with him tribunal last week

International observers have expressed concerns over the suspension of the Supreme Court in Nigeria ̵

1; just three weeks before the parliamentary elections.

Judge Walter Onnoghen was suspended on Friday by President Muhammadu Buhari.

He is accused of having allegedly failed to declare his personal assets before taking office in 2017.

But the EU, UK and US have serious problems with his deportation, suggesting that they "put off the electoral process" could.

The decision of Mr. Buhari was called "an act of dictatorship" by his main opponent in next month's elections, Atiku Abubakar.

Opposition politicians ceased campaigning in protest at the president's decision to suspend the head of the Supreme Court.

President Buhari who seeks In a second term, the judiciary was often accused of thwarting its fight against corruption.

However, no details were given on the reasons for the move.

Why the international PR essure?

As head of justice, Nigeria's chief justice plays a crucial role in resolving electoral disputes.

The charges against the Chief Justice and his subsequent suspension shortly before the elections are generally considered politically motivated.

The suspension came less than 24 hours before Mr Onnoghen's planned submission to members of the Electoral Court.

"The decision to suspend the Supreme Court has led many Nigerians, including lawyers and civil society observers, to question whether a due process has been followed," the EU's Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) said in a statement.

The US embassy said it was "deeply worried" about the decision to replace Judge Onnoghen "without the support of the legislature on the eve of national and state elections."

The British High Commission also expressed "serious concern over the suspension "and said in a statement:" It threatens both the domestic and the international perception of the EU credibility of the upcoming elections ".

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