- Walter Onnoghen has opened up for the first time on his unceremonious removal by Nuhari
- According to him, he was removed over rumour that he met then presidential candidate, Atiku
- He consequently urged judicial officers to be courageous in discharging their duties
In what Nigerians have been waiting for, Walter Onnoghen, ex-chief justice of Nigeria (CJN), has finally revealed why he was sacked by Buhari.
He claimed he was removed from office over rumours that he met with Atiku Abubakar, former vice-president.
Onnoghen also said he was never given the chance to defend himself over allegations he freed high-profile criminals, The Cable reports.
“There were rumours that I met with Atiku in Dubai. But as I am talking here today, I have never met Atiku one on one in my life. As if that was not enough, I was also accused of setting free, some high-profile criminals, whereas I ceased to be a high court judge as far back as 1978."
“In supreme court, I did not sit alone, we sat in panel. In all these rumours and outright accusations, I was not given the opportunity to defend myself.
Going further, he called on judicial officers to be courageous in discharging their duties.
“As I have said severally, judicial officers must be courageous. And I want to beg all serving judicial officers not to be discouraged by what happened to me in the hand of the executive arm of the government."
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had reported that Onnoghen says he was suddenly told that he had been removed from office without being informed about his offence.
Onnoghen who was suspended as the CJN in January 2019 by President Muhammadu Buhari based an order by the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) said this on Tuesday, December 22, during his 70th birthday celebration.
After his suspension, Onnoghen was subsequently replaced with the incumbent CJN, Justice Tanko Muhammad.
Legit.ng reported that a fundamental rights suit filed by Onnoghen seeking N130 million as damages from the federal government and the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) had been struck out by the Federal High Court in Abuja.
The ex-CJN had accused the federal government of violating his rights as a citizen of Nigeria.
The presiding judge, Justice Taiwo Taiwo held, among others that the applicant, N.S. Nwawka, filed the suit without Onnoghen’s permission, adding that it had no locus standi.
Aanu Adegun is a politics and current affairs content editor at Legit.ng with over 7 years of experience in both digital and traditional media. A graduate of English Studies from Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, Ondo state, Aanu started his journalism career as a features writer. Aanu, who is also a creative writer has written books and children magazines. He once anchored some specialised pages of a national newspaper. Aanu is also a satirist.