There was confusion on Monday as the Senate withdrew the case it filed at the Supreme Court on Mr. Walter Onnoghen’s suspension.
The leadership on the red chamber had last week filed a suit at the apex court seeking its interpretation on the decision by President Muhammadu Buhari to suspend the CJN, and immediate reinstatement of Onnoghen.
The Senate, had in the suit marked SC.76/2019, asked the apex court to declare Onnoghen’s suspension without a support of two-thirds majority of the upper chamber as a violation of section 292(1)(a)(i) of the constitution.
The suit also asked the apex court to issue an order restraining the two defendants in the suit – President Buhari and the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami – from continuing or repeating the violation of the constitution and disregarding the power of the Senate in respect of the suspension of the CJN.
But the upper chamber through a statement by the Special Adviser to the Senate President on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, said that its decision to discontinue the case followed the intervention of the NJC on the issue.
It explained that the Senate announced that it had decided to give the NJC intervention a chance.
The statement read, “The Senate has decided to discontinue the case it filed at the Supreme Court. It should be noted that the case has been slated for hearing tomorrow (today).
“This decision also affirms the confidence of the Senate in the ability of the NJC to successfully and creditably resolve the issues.”
However, 56 members of the All Progressives Congress in the Senate on Monday rejected their leaders’ decision and applied to the Supreme Court to join them in the suit.
The Senate Leader, Ahmad Lawan, in a statement said, “The APC senators rely on the Supreme Court (Additional Original Jurisdiction) Act 2002 which provides that the resolution of the respective chambers of the National Assembly is a prerequisite of filing such suit.
“The caucus is therefore challenging the said suit and object to the inclusion of its members.”