ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria's minister of information on Monday denied that the suspension of the country's chief justice is related to the upcoming presidential elections.
Alhaji Lai Mohammed said Monday the suspension has "nothing to do with the forthcoming elections" and does not "signify the onset of dictatorship or tyranny as some have insinuated."
President Muhammadu Buhari suspended Chief Justice Walter Nkanu Samuel Onnoghen Friday pending a trial on corruption allegations. He then appointed an acting chief justice. Nigeria's Bar Association called it an "attempted coup against the Nigerian judiciary."
The chief justice would play a key role in any legal challenge to what could be a disputed election for Buhari's second term.
The U.S., Britain, and the European Union said Saturday that Buhari acted "without the support of the legislative branch."