- Information minister Lai Mohammed says PDP was crying more than the bereaved over Onnoghen's suspension
- Lai Mohammed said the opposition was acting as if the CJN was a member of the party
- The minister said President Buhari acted in line with a court order calling for the suspension while the false assets declaration trial continued
- Lai Mohammed said Nigerians should not be reacting over a man that had kept millions of dollars to himself and had personally confessed
The federal government of Nigeria has condemned the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for suspending its presidential campaign to honour former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Walter Onnoghen who was suspended by President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday, January 25.
The Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed, who handed down the condemnation, described the move as a face-saving one by the PDP because its poor campaign had stalled finally.
A press statement sent to Legit.ng by Lai Mohammed's media aide Segun Adeyemi quoted him as telling newsmen in Ilorin, the Kwara state capital on Saturday, January 26 : ''Which Campaign? Their campaign was over a long time ago. There is nothing to suspend. We said it that their campaign had floundered.
You can now see. What they are doing now is looking for a face-saving way out of a dead and buried campaign.''
The minister wondered why the PDP is crying more than the bereaved, and asked the opposition party whether Justice Onnoghen is one of its members.
“And in any event, let’s ask them this question: Is there something that they know that we don’t know? Is there something between them and the suspended CJN? Otherwise, we did not see why they should suspend their campaign anyway, but I can understand that their campaign was bound to end this way,” Alhaji Mohammed said.
He claimed that while Nigerians have been trooping out in large numbers wherever the President’s campaign ship berths, the PDP supporters have been dwindling by the day.
Lai Mohammed said it was unfortunate that Nigerians were making so much fuss about an official who had confirmed his own guilt.
“For anybody who read Mr. President’s address yesterday, two things stood out. The first is that additional evidence has just been revealed that the suspended CJN refused to declare millions of dollars in his possession. More worrisome is the fact that when the suspended CJN was confronted with the petition that he failed to declare his assets, he added that it was a mistake, that he forgot.
“Now, I would have been a happier person if the same people who are now crying tyranny and dictatorship could really address the issue raised by the President, in his address on Friday, that addition investigations have revealed that several millions of dollars were found in the CJN's account. And when the CJN was confronted with the original allegation, he admitted that he forgot to make full declaration, and that it was a mistake,'' he said.
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Lai Mohammed also faulted those claiming that the President acted outside of the Constitution by suspending Onnoghen.
He noted that the President merely carried out an order of a court of competent jurisdiction directing him to suspend the Chief Justice pending the final determination of the cases against him at the Code of Conduct Tribunal.
Legit.ng had reported earlier that the PDP's presidential campaign organisation said that it would put its campaign on hold in solidarity with the suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Legit.ng gathered that the decision would see the party not holding its campaign in Benue state today, Saturday, January 26.
It was gathered that the party decided to put off the rally “in solidarity with the Nigerian judiciary.”
South-South governors condemn trial of CJN Onnoghen - on Legit TV