Onnoghen Suspension AS CJN; An Omen For Sane Nigeria – RIFA

Onnoghen Suspension AS CJN; An Omen For Sane Nigeria - RIFA

ONNOGHEN SUSPENSION AS CJN; AN OMEN FOR SANE NIGERIA – Luqman Soliu,  Rights and Freedom Advocates (RIFA)

The failure of the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN); Mr Walter onnoghen to take a bold decision of resigning, like Mrs Kemi Adeosun who was embroiled in National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) certificate scandal, after his admission of failure to completely declare his assets in line with extant laws of the land has exposed the nation to global ridicule.

However, the decision of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) recommending the suspension of Mr Onnoghen was a good order that restores the masses trust in the nation judiciary.

This is because Mr Onnoghen continued stay in office has assisted his manipulation of the nation judicial system including Federal High Court doing the bidding of their boss.

Ideally, it is antithetical that Mr Onnoghen should be supervising his own prosecution the same way it would be wrong for an indicted executive to still constitute panel that will probe it.

Rights and Freedom Advocates (RIFA) hereby commend the Federal government for ignoring the calls of the wailers who cherish criminality of their tribal or political associates and donors of Mr Onnoghen inexplicable wealth which he was hidden from public domain until exposed.

The suspension on Friday 25th of January 2019 of Mr Onnoghen as Chief Justice of Nigeria pending the completion of his trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal and his replacement with Mr Justice Ibrahim Tanko Mohammed as the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria being the most senior Justice of the Supreme Court in line with CCT recommendation is therefore a good step in right direction that would raise the hope of the masses in the nation judiciary.

This was what ought to have been done in the case of Dr Bukola Saraki who was standing trial at the CCT and retained his Senate presidency seat as well as the case of Kano State governor Umar Ganduje ensnared in contract bribery scandal even though their cases were slightly different because they were probed by another arm of government.

Under the suspended CJN, assets falsification cases brought before him only favoured the accused.

Could it have been that guilt mind has been responsible for the Supreme court verdict on Dr Bukola Saraki and other asset falsification charges brought to the Supreme court since Mr Onnoghen assumption as CJN?

The ascension of Mr Onnoghen to CJN was also very controversial.

Could it be that those clamouring for him to be made CJN then knew they were promoting their selective interests not made known to the public?

How did Mr Onnoghen get the humongous acknowledged wealth attributed to him?

The nation deserves better than crime-inclined persons being Justices of the Supreme Court.

The probe of other justices and judges should commence immediately so that court judgement will no longer be in favour of the highest bidder.

Besides, various cases won at the Supreme Court during the suspended CJN tenure especially the election disputes should be independently probed as the questionable wealth could be kickbacks of illicit judgement at the Supreme Court.

The probe may also expose other Justices of the Supreme court who have been fingered in the various cash-for-favour judgements at the apex court.

RIFA urge the Acting Chief Justice of the Federation to set up a panel that will verify the assets of other justices including the Ag CJN or Code of Conduct Bureau should be directed to carry out such role in line with its constitutional powers.

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With that, more revelation may be made on the rot in the judiciary so that the nation judiciary can wear a new look devoid of questionable people adjudicating on others’ cases.

The time for Nigeria to get it right was now. So, RIFA crave the nation to grab the opportunity while perfidious elements defending the suspended CJN including shameless lawyers should bury their tribal and political agenda and work towards national progress for sanity to be restored in the last hope of the masses.

Luqman Soliu
Rights and Freedom Advocates (RIFA)

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