By Barrister Kenneth Ikonne
The charges are incompetent and childish, and will not see the light of day. The Code of Conduct Tribunal does not have jurisdiction to try Justice Onnoghen in the circumstances, a condition precedent to its assumption of jurisdiction not having been met. That condition is that an erring judicial officer must first be taken before the NJC, tried, and removed before facing trial in any other court or tribunal. That has not been done in this case!
There is also a baffling absence of acuity and deftness in the Federal Government’s tactical designs to remove the revered Law Lord from office. Onnoghen’s defence team will most certainly challenge the Tribunal’s jurisdiction, and until that is resolved against Onnoghen, the trial proper will not commence, and any talk of Onnoghen stepping down will be a misplaced joke. It is obvious that the aim is to shove Onnoghen aside in the prelude to the presidential and governorship elections and replace him with a pliable jurist amenable to compromise in the constitution of the panels that would hear and determine the petitions that would inevitably arise from the forthcoming elections.
Such a prospect would be a direct dagger to the heart of the nation’s judiciary, and signals one more inglorious step in our nation’s seemingly inexorable slide toward full-blown tyranny. It’s a prospect which lovers of democracy the world over must bemoan and resist!