President Muhammadu Buhari suspended Onnoghen on Friday, citing an order from the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).
In a statement on Saturday, the US embassy in Nigeria said it had taken note of widespread criticisms that the suspension is illegal.
“The Embassy of the United States is deeply concerned by the impact of the executive branch’s decision to suspend and replace the Chief Justice and head of the judicial branch without the support of the legislative branch on the eve of national and state elections,” the statement read.
“We note widespread Nigerian criticism that this decision is unconstitutional and that it undermines the independence of the judicial branch. That undercuts the stated determination of government, candidates, and political party leaders to ensure that the elections proceed in a way that is free, fair, transparent, and peaceful – leading to a credible result.
“We urge that the issues raised by this decision be resolved swiftly and peacefully in
accordance with due process, full respect for the rule of law, and the spirit of the Constitution of Nigeria. Such action is needed urgently now to ensure that this decision does not cast a pall over the electoral process.”
This comes as the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has announced that it will be suspending its 2019 campaigns for 72-hours, to protest against the suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Walter Onnoghen.
Recall that, President Muhammadu Buhari controversially suspended Onnoghen from Office, on Friday. He said that he was acting on a court order by the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT.
The President then swore-in another Supreme Court Justice, Tanko Mohammed, as the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria.
Meanwhile, the new Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad, some minutes ago performed his first official assignment, whennhe swearing in members of 2019 general elections.
Walter Onnoghen lawyers
He came in a little over 2pm, supported only by Justice Duada Sidi Bage.
“The event has just commenced. All other Justices of the Supreme Court are absent. No reasons given yet for their absence.”