Nigeria

Justice Onnoghen: Law taking its course, no interference – Presidency

The Presidency has refuted allegations that it is planning to arrest the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen and frame three other Supreme Court justices up.

In debunking the allegations, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said such plans only exist in the imagination of the opposition.

He noted that the law was merely taking its course regarding the CJN’s trial and the All Progressives Congress led government would not do anything to interfere with the process.

“We note that the findings of the Code of Conduct Bureau against the Chief Justice of Nigeria, and the allegations arising from them, are being handled by the courts in the normal way, as is expected in a democratic society like ours. The Presidency has not, and will certainly not, interfere in the process.

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“We have read with considerable concern and surprise, the fake news of the Presidency’s alleged plan to arrest the CJN and frame other Supreme Court Justices.

“This false story is being peddled by the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) apparently to set the judiciary against the executive and cause major confusion ahead of the forthcoming general elections.

“The story is absolutely false as the Presidency is not in any way involved in plotting against or framing anybody.

“We, however, want to draw the attention of the general public to this or similar false stories, which are ill motivated to further the political interests of their sponsors.

“While the Buhari administration is very firmly committed to the fight against corruption, we want to assure the general public that government will always pursue its mission with the highest standards of fairness, and in strict conformity with the relevant laws,” Adesina said.

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It would be recalled that Justice Onnoghen is standing trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal for non-declaration of assets.

The Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had recently absolved his principal, President Muhammadu Buhari of prior knowledge of financial allegations against Justice Onnoghen.

Osinbajo who indirectly endorsed the trial of the Chief Justice, said he regrets the fact that his senior legal colleague was going through trial before the Code of Conduct Tribunal for non declaration of assets, noting that it has become an issue for controversy because the general elections was fast approaching.

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