The suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen has nothing to do with the forthcoming elections, the Federal Government has said.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed stated this while briefing newsmen in Abuja on Monday.
Alhaji Mohammed said that the suspension is the consequence of his breach of the Code of Conduct for Public Officers and it does not signify the onset of dictatorship or tyranny as some have insinuated.
He said Justice Onnoghen was given the opportunity of fair hearing, but he has been abusing his position and the judicial process by filing frivolous applications and even dodging service of process.
“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 Hon. 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 said.
Alhaji Mohammed who accused the opposition of heating the polity said they are using the situation to shield alleged corrupt persons adding that the PDP’s only reason for seeking return to power is to complete their looting of the national treasury.
“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” he said.
He also said the threat of mass action by some groups cannot undermine the course of justice stressing that those who want to protest against the suspension of the CJN are free to do so as it is within the limits of the law.
The minister therefore urged the media to objectively lead the discourse in order to enlighten the public on the issue at stake.