- Lawyers and civil society organisations have said they will mobilise 20 million Nigerians against the call for the reinstatement of the Chief Justice of Nigeria
- The group led by Princess Ajibola said the president took the anti-corruption fight to the judiciary arm of the government
- According to Ajibola, the entire war against corruption would be meaningless if the judiciary continues to remain rotten
Some civil society organisations have vowed to mobilise 20 million Nigerians against the call for the reinstatement of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen.
The civil society organisation joined by some lawyers said any attempt to reinstate Onnoghen would bring the nation’s judiciary into ridicule before the international community.
Reacting to the growing rage over the recent suspension of Justice Onnoghen by President Muhammadu Buhari, lawyers of Conscience, CSOS, Professionals Without Border said the president took the anti-corruption fight to the judiciary arm of the government.
Speaking at a world press conference on Saturday, January 26, in Abuja, the convener of the group, Princess Ajibola, urged the federal government not to bow to the pressure from the opposition parties and few Nigerians who are not happy with the ouster of the "billionaire CJN".
Ajibola said the entire war against corruption would be meaningless if the judiciary continues to remain rotten since the conviction rate has remained dismal even though many suspected corrupt persons have been arraigned
“Since even corruption has company, expectantly, there have been reactions to this development. The preponderance of reactions has been that the suspension of the former CJN to pave way for a fair trial of his case at the Code of Conduct Tribunal and to save the judiciary from disrepute is a step in the right direction," Ajibola said.
“The judiciary had in the last two weeks been at its worst as those over whom Justice Onnoghen had powers were coerced into delivering one ridiculous ruling after another in the attempts to shield him from standing trial," Ajibola added.
Ajibola said there is a narrow but fierce minority who have launched a campaign to muddle the issues and create the impression that the removal of a CJN that willfully violated the laws of Nigeria is "a rape of democracy. "
“It is instructive that this narrow minority is led by the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), whose members have been the greatest beneficiaries of the baffling Supreme Court rulings that were procured while Onnoghen was still in office. Members of the same party had also been reported to be banking on a Justice Onnoghen-led judiciary to sell election victory to them.
“May we also note that the lynch mob that have been criticising President Buhari have added the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) as their choristers, with Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs) taking on the role of back-up singers.
"It is simply ridiculous when we are reminded that even the current leader of the association has a case of money laundering pending before a competent court, which makes a corrupt judiciary attractive to this set of critics," Ajibola said.
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Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that some youth from Ijaw have condemned the call for the reinstatement of the embattled Chief Justice of Nigeria.
The youth under the aegis of United Niger Delta Youth Council (UNDYC) declared a persona non-grata on the embattled CJN.
The council said the suspension of Justice Onnoghen, as the Chief Justice of Nigeria, by President Buhari, as apt, timely and a welcome development.
Jackson said Justice Onnoghen failed to exhibit a high level of decency in his conduct as the number one judicial officer in the country.
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