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Ignore the court summons – South-South Govs tell CJN Walter Onnoghen

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The South South governors on Sunday condemned what they decried as “ assault ” on the Chief Justice of the Federation , Justice Walter Onnoghen , telling him to ignore the court summons .The governors noted that the attempt to drag the CJN to the CCT was a grave and dangerous escalation of the assault on institutions of state , including the National Assembly and the judiciary

They spoke through a communique after an emergency meeting of the governors of the states of the South South geopolitical zone , held at the Bayelsa State Governor ’ s Lodge , Abuja on Sunday .

It was signed by Henry Seriake Dickson , Governor of Bayelsa State, Nyesom Wike , Governor of Rivers State, Prof . Ben Ayade , Cross River State, Udom Emmanuel , Akwa Ibom State and Sen . Ifeanyi Okowa , of Delta State.

The meeting , called at the instance of the Governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson , who is also Chairman of the South South Governors Forum, was attended by the Governors of Cross River , Rivers , Akwa Ibom , and Delta states .

The meeting deliberated on the recent happenings at the Supreme Court involving the Chief Justice of the Federation , Justice Walter Onnoghen and resolved that the action against him constitutes a setback to the gains of the nation’ s democratic experience of 20 years .

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The communique reads, “ We note that under Section 158 ( 1 ) of the 1999 Constitution, the National Judicial Council , has ample powers to deal exhaustively with matters pertaining to allegations of misconduct and discipline of Judicial officers .

“ Specifically , the NJC has the powers and clear procedures for investigating allegations , and recommending appropriate sanctions or disciplinary measures against judicial officials as a matter of first instance before any further steps.

“ The judicial pronouncements in the cases of FGN Vs Justice Sylvester Ngwuta of the Supreme Court ( January 9 , 2018 ) and Justice Ngajinwa Vs FGN 2017 at the CCT have given validation to the express provisions of the constitution on this issue.

“ We believe that the President , Muhammadu Buhari has a constitutional responsibility and huge moral obligation to defend our democracy .

“ Therefore , we consider this step , which is directly aimed at humiliating the nation’ s highest judicial officer and a prominent son of the region, as totally unacceptable as it is reflective of the South South story of endless marginalization and intimidation . ”

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