CRRAN files suit seeking interpretation On power of Code of Conduct Tribunal

HUMAN RIGHTS:

……CCB powers to remove constitutional provided 13 officers from office

The Civil Rights Realisation and Advancement Network (CRRAN) have filed a suit at the Federal High Court Abuja against the Attorney General of the Federation, seeking interpretation on the power of the Code of Conduct Tribunal to order vacation of office by 13, offices whose removal from office are specifically provided for under the Constitution.

The 13 officers include that of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, President of the Court of Appeal, Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Chief Judge of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Grand Kadi, President, Governors and others.

The suit among other things seeks to know Whether the Code of Conduct Tribunal can remove the Chief Judge of a State, Grand Kadi of a Sharia Court of Appeal or President of a Customary Court of Appeal of a State, from office by virtue of the

provisions of Section 18(1) of the Code of Conduct for Public officers, Part 1, Fifth Schedule of the 1999, Constitution of the

Federal Republic of Nigeria (as Amended) without recourse to the express provisions of Section 292(1)(a)(ii), 1999, Constitution of the

Federal Republic of Nigeria (as Amended).

It equally among other demands, seeks to know if the removal from office of these 13 officials must be supported by 2/3 majority of the Senate and in the case of states officials, 2/3

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majority of the members of House of Assembly.

The Plaintiff in its’ affidavit in support of the application stated among other things why the interpretation of the Constitution in this

regard becomes necessary, that:

1.      That the Code of Conduct Tribunal on the 18th April 2019, made an Order directing the Chief Justice of Nigeria to vacate office without

having recourse to the provisions of the Constitution.

2.      That the above-mentioned activity of the Code of Conduct Tribunal is  serious issue which portends grave danger to the Constitution and

the democracy, as was witnessed on 2nd January 2004, when an Enugu High Court presided over by Justice S.C. Nnaji removed the then governor of Anambra, Chris Ngige, in a Fundamental Rights proceedings in Suit No. E/503M/2003, NELSON ACHUKWU V.IGP AND 3 OTHERS.

3.That if the activity of the Code of Conduct Tribunal if left unchecked, it may continue to giving order to vacate office to Governors or Deputy governors, President Court of Appeal, Chief Judges, Grand kadis and president Customary Court of Appeal and other named judicial officer in this application thereby causing chaos in

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the polity thereby endangering the security of citizens.

The suit filed and signed by the president of Civil Rights Realisation and Advancement Network (CRRAN) Olu Omotayo on behalf of the group, sought interpretations to these 4 questions

A.   Whether the Code of Conduct Tribunal can remove the President or Vice President from office by virtue of the provisions of Section 18(1) of the Code of Conduct for Public officers, Part 1, Fifth Schedule of the 1999, Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as Amended) without recourse to the express provisions of Sections 143 and 144, 1999, of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as Amended).

B.    Whether the Code of Conduct Tribunal can remove the Chief Justice of Nigeria, President of the Court of Appeal, Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Chief Judge of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Grand Kadi of the Sharia Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and President of the Customary Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital territory, Abuja, from office by virtue of the provisions of Section 18(1) of the Code of Conduct for Public officers, Part 1, Fifth Schedule of the 1999, Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as Amended) without recourse to the express provisions of Section 292(1)(a)(i), 1999, Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as Amended).

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C.   Whether the Code of Conduct Tribunal can remove the Governor or Deputy Governor of a state from office by virtue of the provisions of Section 18(1) of the Code of Conduct for Public officers, Part 1, Fifth Schedule of the 1999, Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as Amended) without recourse to the express provisions of Sections 188 and 189, 1999, Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as Amended).

D.   Whether the Code of Conduct Tribunal can remove the Chief Judge of a State, Grand Kadi of a Sharia Court of Appeal or President of a Customary Court of Appeal of a State, from office by virtue of the provisions of Section 18(1) of the Code of Conduct for Public officers, Part 1, Fifth Schedule of the 1999, Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as Amended) without recourse to the express provisions of Section 292(1)(a)(ii), 1999, Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as Amended).

No date has been fixed for hearing of the Suit: REGISTERED TRUSTEES OF CIVIL RIGHTS REALISATION AND ADVANCEMENT NETWORK “CRRAN” V. ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE FEDERATION, SUIT NO.FHC/ABJ/CS/452/2019.

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