Nigerians, as would be expected, are currently divided over the planned arraignment of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, on Monday, January 14, 2019, by the CCT.
Onnoghen, it would be recalled, was earlier today allegedly asked by the Federal Government to resign!
Why? He reportedly didn’t handle his asset declaration requirements very well. He also was accused of maintaining domiciliary accounts contrary to the demands of his office.
Billed to appear before Justice Danladi Yakubu’s Code of Conduct Tribunal on Monday, many are attributing this to witch-hunting as well as plans to get him out of the way, and then appoint someone else who would dance to the tune of his employers.
Respected political commentator and rights activist, Barrister Richard Akinnola, had this to say concerning the planned arraignment: ‘I am a political strategist. I know my beat. There are things l do behind the scene to get things working. These charges against the CJN is one of the most ridiculous actions of this government. And this is without prejudice to the alleged offences.
What is legal or right may not necessarily be expedient.
‘If fighting corruption is the anchor of your administration, you don’t target the head of the institution that you rely upon in this manner. Whether you like it or not, there would be a backlash over the corruption cases before the judges in view of this charge against the head of the judiciary. So, who loses? The society. Wisdom, Wisdom, Wisdom.
‘Last week, Barrack Obama said one of his regrettable actions as president was the involvement of the US in the overthrow and killing of Ghaddafi. The collateral damage is still being felt with the establishment of ISIS and how the remnants of the armed militias are causing havoc around the globe, including Nigeria.
‘In a country sitting on the tinderbox of ethno-religious mutual suspicions, you need to be careful in taking certain decisions that may be misconstrued as being taken to further an ethnic agenda. It may not be the motive, but perception is often stronger than reality. As the proverb says, when the tse tse fly perches on a man’s scrotum, that’s when you’ll know that not all issues require force to handle. Wisdom is profitable to direct. The leadership requires wisdom in taking certain decisions. May God guide us right.’
Another group, however, is saying that if indeed the man ran foul of the laws, he should just face the music. No sentiments.
President Muhammadu Buhari’s government, it would also be recalled, had earlier put some Supreme Court Justices on trial, which attracted so much noise. And only recently too, the current President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Paul Usoro, SAN, equally tasted a similar pill. And now this.
YES INTERNATIONAL! Magazine reliably gathered that Justice Onnoghen has already been served, at his official residence in Abuja. Charges have also been prepared against him. Preparatory to his arraignment.
The Federal Government, according to the said charges, are accusing the embattled Chief Justice of Nigeria whose emergence elicited so much noise of refusal to declare his assets, which is a breach of the provision of the Code of Conduct Bureau Act.
Also, maintaining domiciliary foreign currencies’ accounts, comprising Dollars Account, Pound Sterling Account and Euro Account, contrary to relevant laws, especially for public office holders.
Onnoghen, we learnt, has assembled some senior lawyers who would defend him. The team is said to be led by a prominent radical lawyer.
The Federal Government, on her part, has allegedly engaged a Senior Advocate of Nigeria too for the legal fireworks ahead.
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