The federal government has given more reasons why the immediate past chief justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, was suspended.
The government said the decision to suspend Onnoghen was due to the ex-CJN’s abuse of judicial processes.
Continentour.com.ng gathers that the government’s position was made known in Abuja by the minister of information and national orientation, Alhaji Lai Mohammed on Monday, January 28.
Alhaji Mohammed said: ”This whole issue is about the country’s highest judicial officer, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, being accused of a breach of the Code of Conduct for Public Officers, and the legal and moral conundrum surrounding that.
”It is about the suspicious transactions running into millions of dollars to the suspended CJN’s personal accounts, all undeclared or improperly declared as required by law.
”It is about the Hon. Justice Onnoghen himself admitting to the charges that he indeed failed to follow the spirit and letter of the law in declaring his assets, calling it a ‘mistake.’
”’And it is about him refusing to take responsibility, instead opting to put the entire judiciary on trial.
”Please remember that Justice Onnoghen has been given the opportunity of fair hearing, but he has been abusing his position and the judicial process by filing frivolous applications and even dodging service of process.”
The minister argued that the allegations against Justice Onnoghen go beyond professional misconduct.
He opined that it is the alleged breach of the code of conduct for public officers, stressing that only the CCT is statutorily empowered to deal with the case.
Mohammed went on to say the CCT was acting within its powers in ordering the suspension of Justice Onnoghen, adding that President Muhammadu Buhari was right in carrying out the order.
He said: ”The suspension of Justice Onnoghen is a consequence of his breach of the Code of Conduct for Public Officers and has nothing to do with the forthcoming elections, neither does it signify the onset of dictatorship or tyranny as some have insinuated.
”It amounts to irresponsible extrapolation to say that the suspension of Justice Onnoghen is the onset of dictatorship.
”Those who want to protest against the suspension of the CJN should feel free to exercise their rights, within the limits of the law.”
Continentour.com.ng previously reported that a Lagos lawmaker, Segun Olulade, on Monday, January 28, said that the suspension of the chief justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, was a step closer to democratic justice and in the best interest of Nigerians.
Olulade, a member representing Epe constituency II in the Lagos state House of Assembly, said this in a statement he issued in Lagos.
Onnoghen, charged before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) on January 14, with offences bordering on non-declaration of assets, was suspended on Friday, January 25.
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