President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to suspend the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, should be regarded as a conscious shift of policy to fast track the fight against corruption, the Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has said.
According to BMO, the suspended CJN had built a hedge around himself to continue in office in spite of his written admission of hiding several domiciliary accounts with suspicious lodgements of funds believed to be proceeds of corruption.
BMO Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke said that President Buhari had no alternative but to respect a valid suspension order issued by the Code of Conduct Tribunal pending final determination of the case against Justice Onnoghen.
“Resignation was the only meaningful option for the suspended Chief Justice. He is indeed, a confessed felon after claiming in one breadth to have made a mistake and also forgot to have properly declared his assets in line with provisions of the Code of Conduct Bureau for public officials when confronted by investigators.
“Just like the President said in his speech at the swearing in of the Acting CJN, someone with a moral authority so wounded by serious charges of corruption by his own written admission ought to have stepped down on his own volition.
“But in the character of tainted high office holders in Nigeria, Justice Onnoghen preferred to lash on to the rigmarole of legal technicalities as well as a desperately shallow opposition party that is on the lookout for anything to use to cast aspersions on President Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) to shore up its flagging campaign and an apparent failed effort to market a presidential candidate with questionable moral standing.
“The suspended CJN forgot, as usual, that he once ruled on a case in his capacity of a Supreme Court judge that the Code of Conduct Tribunal has the exclusive jurisdiction to deal with any violation of provisions of the Code of Conduct Bureau notwithstanding the status of the public officer in question.”He said