- Lai Mohammed has tied the suspension of the CJN Onnoghen to his violation of the provision of the Code of Conduct Tribunal
- According to the minister of information, those who want to protest Onnoghen’s removal are free to do so provided they don't go against the law
- The minister accused the PDP of using the situation for its political campaign and to also protect its corrupt members
The federal government has said the suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, has no connection with the next general elections.
The minister of information and culture, Lai Mohammed, made this known in a meeting with journalists in Abuja on Monday, January 28, Daily Trust reports.
The minister said that Onnoghen’s suspension as the CJN was as a result of his breach of the code of conducts guiding public officials, saying it has nothing to do with the speculation of dictatorship as many suggested.
Mohammed said that when the CJN was given the opportunity of a fair trial, he rather used his position to frustrate the process with distracting applications.
He said: “The issue 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 Honorable 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.”
He also said that the opposition was unnecessarily upsetting the polity to protect its corrupt members, saying the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) want to come back to power and continue looting.
He said: “The opposition, in its reaction, is guilty of engaging in hysteria and for overheating the polity. Conveniently, they have anchored their failed campaign for the 2019 election on an issue that is totally unrelated to the election.
"By their reaction, they have made their tattered umbrella available for shielding alleged corrupt persons. Their leopard can never change its spots: The PDP is corruption personified and it’s only reason for seeking a return to office is to complete their looting of the national treasury.
"The attack dogs unleashed by the opposition have been engaging in incitement and other actions that can threaten law and order. There is no cause for alarm, as the law enforcement agencies are alive to their responsibilities.”
The minister concluded by saying people who want to protest Onnoghen’s removal are free to do so provided they don't go against the law. He called on the media to educate the public on issues surrounding the suspension.
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Recall that Legit.ng previously reported that the Nigerian Senate approached the Supreme Court for an interpretation of the powers of the president in the appointment and removal of the CJN, with respect to the roles of the upper chamber of the National Assembly and the National Judicial Council (NJC) in the entire process.
Confused by Buhari’s suspension of Onnoghen over alleged false declaration of assets and the subsequent appointment of Tanko Mohammed in acting capacity, the Senate, which held the view that it had been undermined in the entire process by ‘criminally usurping’ its powers, therefore, approached the Supreme Court for a timely interpretation.
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Onnoghen's Suspension: Lawyers, Civil Group protest in Abuja | Legit TV