Timing of Onnoghen’s removal wrong – UK

The British Government has expressed worry over the removal of the Chief Justice of Nigeria , Justice Walter Onnoghen , by President Muhammdu Buhari .This comes barely hours after the American government disagreed with the Federal Government over the removal of the CJN .

The United kingdom said the timing of the removal which occurred three weeks to the election could cast a shadow over the polls .

The UK said although it respects Nigeria ’ s sovereignty, it would continue to show interest in Nigeria ’ s affairs as a friendly nation.

The British government said the removal of Onnoghen could affect the perception of the polls .

The statement read , “ The British High Commission expresses serious concern over the suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria .

“ We have heard a wide range of credible and independent voices , including in the Nigerian legal profession and civil society , who have expressed concern over the constitutionality of the executive branch ’ s suspension of the chief officer of the judiciary .

“ We respect Nigeria ’ s sovereign authority and its right to adjudicate on constitutional provisions but as friends of the Nigerian people , we are compelled to observe that the timing of this action , so close to national elections, gives cause for concern . It risks affecting both domestic and international perceptions on the credibility of the forthcoming elections. We , along with other members of the international community , are following developments closely .

“ We encourage all actors to maintain calm and address the concerns raised by this development through due process , demonstrating their commitment to respecting the constitution and the impartial administration of the rule of law . We further urge them to take steps to ensure that elections take place in an environment conducive to a free , fair and peaceful process . ”

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