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Supreme Court Delivers Judgement On Rivers State Application Challenging Onnoghen’s Suspension



Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a motion filed by the Rivers State Government challenging the suspension of former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Walter Onnoghen.

The Apex court declared that it lacked jurisdiction to hear the application, and so dismissed the application.

Sequel to the controversial suspension of Onnoghen in January by an order of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), the Rivers State Govt approached the Supreme Court with a request that the apex court should invoke section 232 (1) of the constitution to assume original jurisdiction on the matter.

The section provides that: “The Supreme Court shall, to the exclusion of any other court, have original jurisdiction in any dispute between the Federation and a State or between States if and in so far as that dispute involves any question (whether of law or fact) on which the existence or extent of a legal right depends.”

The implication of the above provision in the eyes of the law is that where the Supreme Court assumes original jurisdiction, a matter does not necessarily have to emerge from the lower court before it can be treated by the apex court.

However, in a reaction, the federal government was of the opinion that the section heavily relied upon by the Rivers State Government only allows the Supreme Court to assume original jurisdiction where the matter is between a particular state and federal government.

Delivering judgement on Friday, the Supreme court said the matter for which the application was brought does not involve a dispute between the Rivers State government and the federal government.

The apex court agreed with the legal position of the federal government that it lacked jurisdiction to adjudicate on the matter.

It was on this premise that the court upheld the objection raised by the Solicitor General of the Federation, Dayo Apata.

Source: Naija News