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by on April 16, 2019 Read Time: 1 minute, 57 seconds
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While his trial is ongoing at the Code of Conduct Tribunal chaired by Justice Danladi Umar over allegations of non-declaration of assets, the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen has decided to be smart by tendering his resignation letter from office with effect from April 8, 2019. This is coming barely a week after the National Judicial Council (NJC), recommended his retirement from office after considering the EFCC petition against him.

The recommendation of the NJC itself is full of biases, contradictions and self-serving. It is glaring from the submission of the prosecution at the CCT trial that Justice Onnoghen cannot escape justice as he had earlier on admitted that he forgot to declare his assets as at the time he was sworn- in as the Acting CJN.

To say the least, Justice Onnoghen has infringed on the countrys law and therefore must be tried appropriately and commensurately sentenced accordingly like any other criminal. Though Onnoghens resignation is a welcome development as it shows that the war against corruption as a key policy point of the PMB administration is on course and making substantial progress, however the course of justice must not be derailed by those who are statutorily employed by the state to custodians of the countrys judiciary and judicial process.

The media was recently inundated with reports of the NJC recommending the retirement of Justice Onnoghen. The NJC however fell short of critically examining the issues behind its recommendation to the President. To the best of our knowledge, the EFCC wrote a petition against suspended CJN alleging that misconduct. Justice Onnoghen had lost the morality of authority to continue as Nigerian CJN with the kind of litany of allegations bordering on misconduct.

NJC has from all indications failed to address the issues of the EFCC petition squarely and holistically. Their recommendation of compulsory retirement is just nothing but a cover up to provide a soft landing for a Justice Onnoghen who is the top judicial officer of the country.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has petitioned the National Judicial Council and considering the weight of overwhelming evidence against the suspended CJN alleging that since his appointment as a judicial officer in 1989 in the Judiciary of Cross Rivers state, there is no evidence to show that he has ever declared his assets.

Musa Ilallah,

musahk123@yahoo.com


Harry Etim
What
Hmmmm, we are in the dark
Lord help us
Daibi dokubo
NJC! What dat one
Ajala Abiodun Abdullateef
Nigeria is in a mess already