The Peoples Democratic Party on Saturday said the swearing-in of members of the election petitions tribunal by Justice Mohammed Tanko was illegal and a complete nullity.
The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan in a statement also stated that in the face of the Nigerian law, Justice Tanko cannot function as a Chief Justice of Nigeria, as there is no vacancy in that office since the 1999 Constitution (as amended) has no provision for two Chief Justices of Nigeria at any particular time.
He insisted that Justice Walter Onnoghen is still in charge as the Chief Justice of Nigeria.
He charged Tanko to note that he is allowing himself to be used by alleged despotic forces in their bid to truncate the hard-earned democracy of Nigeria.
Ologbondiyan said, “It is also imperative for Justice Tanko to agree that, having allowed himself to be used to desecrate the hallowed temple of justice, his oath of office and oath of allegiance, the only option left for him is to quit the bench.
“The PDP reminds Justice Tanko of his membership of the panel set up by the National Judicial Council, which on March 14, 2018, forced Justice Obisike Orji to quit the bench and go on a compulsory retirement, for allowing himself to be sworn in as the Acting Chief Judge of Abia State without the statutory recommendation of the NJC.
“From Justice Tanko’s first illegal assignment, which is the swearing-in of election tribunal Justices for the forthcoming elections, Nigerians can now see the raison d’etre for his illegal appointment.
“This action is in itself a nullity and we caution the said justices to be reminded of the popular maxim that something cannot be built on nothing.”
He said the PDP had always alerted that President Muhammadu Buhari was bent on removing Onnoghen so as to replace him with a pliable CJN that would help him uphold his alleged rigging plots and achieve his alleged self-succession bid, having realized that he cannot win in any free and fair electoral contest.
He stated that when Nigerians were in the trenches for democracy, Gen Buhari, as he was then known, was in cahoot with the last dictator against the will of the people.
According to him, it is therefore not strange that Buhari had once again, tried to subdue the nation’s democracy and allegedly subvert the rule of law.
Ologbondiyan said, “However, the PDP wants President Buhari to know that Nigerians, irrespective of tribe, creed or political leaning, will never allow anybody, no matter how highly placed, to push our nation to the abyss of anarchy.”