- A massive protest takes place in Lagos in support of the suspension of Walter Onnoghen by President Muhammadu Buhari
- The protesters want the law to take its full course so as to serve as deterrent to others in Onnoghen's shoes
- They commend President Muhammadu Buhari for fighting corruption in the country
As Nigerians continued to grapple with the crisis in the judiciary following the suspension of the chief justice of the country, Walter Onnoghen, some pro- Buhari protesters on Monday, January 28, rallied in Lagos in favour of the president.
The massive protest held in Lagos, the country’s commercial capital, as participants carried placards to drive their message in support of the suspension of Onnoghen by the president.
Sahara Reporters states that Comrade Festus Akintola, who spoke on behalf of the protesters, declared that the law must be allowed to take its full course as this would serve as a deterrent to others.
“We have all gathered here to express our disgust with the actions of some segments of the country that have viewed the action of the president in placing the Chief Justice of Nigeria on suspension for false declaration of assets in contravention of the Code of Conduct Bureau Act for public office holders in the country.
“Nigeria is not a country where anyone should be viewed as above the law, as the law is no respecter of persons. And what an irony: That the chief law officer of the country would violate the law and would still want to evade justice. If that should ever happen, then Nigeria is no longer a country but a banana republic.
“We stand in absolute solidarity with our dear and amiable president who has risen in defence of the country by suspending the chief justice of the country and thereby sending a strong message to all that no matter how highly placed, once you violate the law, there would be consequences.
“We are also at a loss as to what case or position some people want to canvass in a situation as glaring as this. Are they trying to deny the fact that the Chief Justice of Nigeria did not commit any offence? Are they trying to say that the president didn’t do the right thing by asking the Chief Justice to proceed on suspension pending the determination of the suit before the Code of Conduct Tribunal?
“We wish to state that it amounts to moral bankruptcy for the chief justice to cite ‘forgetfulness’ as the reason for not declaring a part of his estate. And we now wonder how someone of such high standing would think he can take over 180 million Nigerians for a ride.
“And quite ironically, some ethnic and religious champions have taken turns to give the actions of the president all manners of ethnic and religious coloration at the detriment of the fact of the matter,” he said.
The group said it was supporting Buhari over his decision on Onnoghen.
“They shall be all put to shame because majority of Nigerians are with the president and support wholeheartedly the action of the president in the quest to rid the judiciary of corrupt elements such as the suspended chief justice.
“In Nigeria today, under the watch of President Muhammadu Buhari, we have indeed seen how and what it takes to fight the cancerous corruption. That is what President Muhammadu Buhari has displayed in the bold action of his.
“We are all gathered here despite our busy schedules to show solidarity to the man of the people; the man who has the interest of the country at heart; the man who has dared the path where no one dares venture; the man that has an unshaken belief in the unity of Nigeria; the man who says a ‘yes’ and it is a ‘yes’; a man who would not dip his hands in government coffers, and a man who has shown us what it takes to have integrity in a country like ours.
“The case of the Chief Justice of Nigeria presents us with one of such instances in which our president has risen in defence of the country. And it takes more than a commitment and belief in the national development agenda for such actions to protect the people from dubious and corrupt minded individuals such as the suspended Chief Justice Walter Onnoghen.
“We are angry at the audacity of Justice Walter Onnoghen to insult our intelligence as a people by wanting to whip up ethnic and religious sentiments through paid political jobbers. If Justice Walter Onnoghen has any atom of moral as the chief justice of the country, the rational thing for him to have done was to honourably resign from office to save the judicial arm of the country the shame and denigration that has it brought upon us.
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“So bad is this case that Nigeria has become a laughing stock among countries. And the ethnic champions do not see anything wrong with it the shame Justice Walter Onnoghen has brought upon our country.
“We support President Muhammadu Buhari wholeheartedly in the fight against corruption in the judiciary. We are consequently of the firm opinion that if the judiciary is not sanitized, then we might be in for considerable trouble,” he said.
Legit.ng earlier reported that the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), on Monday, January 28, ordered all lawyers in Nigeria boycott the courts across the nation for two days between Tuesday, January 29, and Wednesday, January 30, to protest the crisis in the judiciary.
The action, according to the NBA, is protest what it called the alleged constitutional infractions in the suspension of Walter Onnoghen as Chief Justice of Nigeria.
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Presidency, Nigerians give their thoughts on the fight against corruption| Legit TV