The federal government has reportedly filed a motion at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) seeking the removal of Walter Onnoghen as the chief justice of Nigeria (CJN).
In documents seen by PUNCH, the motion was filed on Thursday by Musa Ibrahim and Fatima Danjuma Ali on behalf of Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation (AGF).
The move is reportedly aimed at getting Ibrahim Muhammed, the next in line, appointed as acting chief justice pending the determination of the case against Onnoghen.
The federal government prayed the tribunal for an interlocutory order “directing the defendant/respondent to step aside as the Chief Justice of Nigeria and chairman of the National Judicial Council over an allegation of contravening the provision of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act CAP C15 Laws of the federation of Nigeria 2004 pending the determination of the case.
“An interlocutory order of the honourable tribunal directing the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to take all necessary measures to swear in the most senior Justice of the Supreme Court as an acting Chief Justice and chairman of the National Judicial Council in order to prevent a vacuum in the judicial arm of government pending the determination of the case.”
The Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) had filed a six-count charge of false assets declaration against Onnoghen in response to a petition filed by the Anti-Corruption and Research Based Data Initiative (ARDI).
On Wednesday, the federal government asked the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) to freeze five bank accounts belonging to Onnoghen.
The Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP), on Friday, alleged that there is a plot by the federal government to arrest Onnoghen.
The National Industrial Court has given an order restraining the police from arresting the CJN.