Senate Cancels Planned Resumption Over Onnoghen’s Case
The Senate has cancelled the resumption of plenary, earlier billed for Tuesday, January 29, 2019.
The upper legislative chamber had earlier announced that it would reconvene on Tuesday to debate the suspension of Walter Onnoghen as Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The development is not unconnected with the decision of the National Assembly leadership to approach the Supreme Court for interpretation of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
In a statement on Monday, the Clerk of the National Assembly, Nelson Ayewoh, revealed that the legislative body would resume on February 19, the earlier fixed date for resumption.
The two-paragraph statement titled, 'Cancellation of Senate Resumption in Plenary' reads: "This is to inform all Distinguished Senators of the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that the resumption in Plenary Scheduled for tomorrow, Tuesday,19th January, 2019 has been cancelled.
"The scheduled date of resumption in Plenary earlier fixed for Tuesday, 19th February, 2019, remains, please".
In further explaining why plenary was suspended, Yusuph Olaniyonu, Special Adviser (Media and Publicity) to Senate President, attributed it to the suit already filed at the apex court.
"Earlier today, the Senate filed a case in the highest court of the land, the Supreme Court, seeking its interpretation on whether President Muhammadu Buhari acted within the provision of the constitution in his suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Hon. Justice Walter Nkannu Onnoghen or whether the action of the President does amount to usurpation of the powers of the Senate as provided for in Section 292 of the constitution.
"Following the filing of the case, the matter of the suspension of the CJN which is the main issue for which the Senate had planned to reconvene tomorrow, has become subjudiced.
"Therefore, in line with the standing rules of the Senate not to debate issues that are already pending before the court, the reconvening of the Senate tomorrow has been put off.
“The previous adjournment of the Senate till February 19, 2019 stays," Olaniyonu noted in his own statement on Monday.
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