President Buhari Speaks on Why He Suspended Justice Walter Onnoghen

President Buhari speaks on why he suspended Justice Walter Onnoghen

Earlier at the moment, President Buhari suspended embattled Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen and appointed Justice Tanko Muahammad because the performing CJN. While swearing in Justice Muhammad, President Buhari gave causes for Onnoghen’s suspension. He said this in his speech in the course of the swearing-in ceremony. Read the total textual content under…

A short time in the past, I used to be served with an Order of the Code of Conduct Tribunal issued on Wednesday 23rd January 2019, directing the suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Honourable Justice Walter Nkanu Samuel Onnoghen from workplace pending remaining dedication of the instances towards him on the Code of Conduct Tribunal and a number of other different fora regarding his alleged breach of the Code of Conduct for Public Officers.

  1. The nation has been gripped by the tragic realities of no much less a character than the Chief Justice of Nigeria himself changing into the accused individual in a corruption trial since particulars of the petition towards him by a Civil Society Organization first turned public a few fortnight in the past.
  2. Although the allegations within the petition are grievous sufficient in themselves, the safety companies have since then traced different suspicious transactions working into thousands and thousands of {dollars} to the CJN’s private accounts, all undeclared or improperly declared as required by regulation.
  3. Perhaps extra worrisome is the Chief Justice of Nigeria’s personal written admission to the fees that he certainly did not observe the spirit and letter of the regulation in declaring his property, citing ’’mistake’’ and ’’forgetfulness’’ that are completely unknown to our legal guidelines as defences within the circumstances of his case.
  4. One anticipated that together with his ethical authority so wounded, by these severe costs of corruption, extra so by his personal written admission, Mr. Justice Walter Onnoghen would have acted swiftly to spare our Judicial Arm additional disrepute by eradicating himself from superintending over it whereas his trial lasted.
  5. Unfortunately, he has not finished so. Instead, the nation has been handled to the sordid spectacle of a judicial sport of wits wherein the Chief Justice of Nigeria and his authorized crew have made nonsense of the efforts of the Code of Conduct Tribunal to listen to the allegation on benefit and conclude the trial as rapidly as doable contemplating the character of the instances wherein we reside.
  6. Whether intentionally or inadvertently, we now have all seen the total weight of the Chief Justice of Nigeria descend on the tender head of one of many organs of justice beneath his management. There is solely no means the officers of that court docket, from the Chairman to the bailiffs, can faux to be unaffected by the affect of the chief of the Judiciary.
  7. Not solely the trial court docket, however others have been put on the spot. Practically each different day since his trial commenced, the nation has witnessed numerous courts granting orders and counter-orders in favour of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, all of them characterised by an unholy alacrity between the time of submitting, listening to and supply of judgment in identical.
  8. The actual impact has been a stalling of the trial of Justice Onnoghen, helped alongside by legal professionals who insist that these orders, whether or not proper or unsuitable are technically legitimate, and should be obeyed until an appellate Court says in any other case. No doubt that it’s the correct interpretation, however is it proper disposition for our nation?.
  9. Nigeria is a constitutional democracy and nobody should be, or be seen to be, above the regulation. Unfortunately, the drama across the trial of the Chief Justice of Nigeria has challenged that pillar of justice within the notion of the peculiar man on the road. For it’s sure that no peculiar Nigerian can get the swift and particular therapy Justice Onnoghen has loved from his subordinates and privies in our Judicature.
  10. In the midst of all these distracting occasions, the important query of whether or not the accused CJN truly has a case to reply has been misplaced within the squabble over the shape and nature of his trial. This shouldn’t be so.
  11. If Justice can’t be finished and clearly seen to be finished, society itself is liable to probably the most unimaginable chaos. As a Government, we can’t stand by wailing and wringing our fingers helplessly however give our full backing and help to these courageous components throughout the Judiciary who act forthrightly, regardless of who’s concerned.
  12. As you’re all conscious, the combat towards corruption is likely one of the tripod of insurance policies promised to Nigerians by this administration. Needless to say that it’s an existential Policy which should be given ample consideration and dedication by all of the three arms of presidency. The efforts of the Executive will quantity to nothing with out the cooperation of the Legislature and particularly the Judiciary.
  13. It isn’t any secret that this authorities is dissatisfied with the alarming price wherein the Supreme Court of Nigeria beneath the oversight of Justice Walter Onnoghen has serially let out, individuals accused of probably the most dire acts of corruption, typically on mere technicalities, and after fairly plenty of them have been convicted by the trial and appellate courts.
  14. Since there may be nothing the Executive Arm can do after the apex court docket of the land has spoken on any matter, a number of of those people stroll free amongst us at the moment, having fun with what are clearly the proceeds of the corruption which for thus lengthy has defeated the efforts of this nation to develop and prosper.
  15. It is towards this background that I’ve obtained the Order of the Code of Conduct Tribunal directing me to droop the Chief Justice pending remaining dedication of the instances towards him. It additionally explains why I’m not solely complying instantly, however with some extent of reduction for the battered sensibilities of peculiar Nigerians whose endurance should have change into severely over-taxed by these anomalies.
  16. In line with this administration’s avowed respect for the Rule of Law, I’ve wholeheartedly obeyed the Order of the Code of Conduct Tribunal dated 23rd January 2019.
  17. Accordingly, I hereby droop the Honourable Mr. Justice Walter Nkanu Samuel Onnoghen, GCON because the Chief Justice of Nigeria pending remaining dedication of the case towards him on the Code of Conduct Tribunal.
  18. In additional compliance with the identical Order of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, I hereby invite Honourable Justice Ibrahim Tanko Mohammed JSC, being the following most Senior Justice within the Supreme Court, to return ahead to take the Judicial Oath as Chief Justice of Nigeria in an Acting Capacity.
  19. Fellow Nigerians, we are able to solely stand an opportunity to win the combat towards Corruption, and place our expensive nation for accelerated improvement after we stand collectively to contend towards it.

Thank you and will God bless our nation.

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