The planned trial of the Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Walter Onnoghen by agency of the Federal Government is the height of desperation by the executive arm to cow and emasculate the other arms of the government. The circumstances surrounding the hasty trial of the nation’s top judicial officer is suspicious.
The prosecuting body, CCB does not take into the cognizance of the sensitivity of its action. Thus, the agency was not circumspect in embarking on this retrogressive action. You alleged to have received a petition against the CJN on the 9th of January, 2019 and within a period of 24hours you allegedly concluded your investigation and thereby filed charges on the 10th of January, 2019 against the CJN?
There is more to this hasty trial than meet the ordinary eyes. A judicial officer by the relevant provisions of the extant laws of the land as well as judicial precedents cannot be tried for crime without being tried by the National Judicial Council (NJC). The CCB ought to have first referred the matter to the NJC for its action and recommendation before embarking on this unholy journey.
President Buhari’s executive arm is notorious for violating this practice which is clearly provided in the Constitution. You can’t claimed to be enforcing the laws of the land through an unconstitutional means. The trial of the CJN which is against the known conventional practice is a desecration of the citadel of justice. This an affront on the sacred doctrine of the separation of powers. This innocuous practice can only begets totalitarianism which is a recipe for anarchy.
Fighting corrupt is a commendable act but it should be fought within the ambit of the law in order to deepen our democratic practice. The timing of this rash and spur-of-the-moment action is totally wrong. The FG is only sending wrong signals to Nigerians and indeed, the international community that it wants to cow and emasculate the judiciary into doing its bidding as we enter into the general elections.
People should not play with the intelligence of Nigerians. This year’s elections are going to be defining moment for this Country. Any plan to subvert the will of the people by using the state’s apparatus to aid its rigging plans will fall between Stoll because Nigerians are ready to take their destinies in their hands. Those who are nursing this fraudulent ambition in the elections should first think about the Country.
There would not have been Nigeria of our dream today had former President Goodluck Jonathan did not engendered free, fair and credible elections which eventually brought the then opposition party into power. Those who benefited from Jonathan’s democratic credentials should do well to uphold his legacies otherwise they may set the Country on a needless conflagration.
Pereotubo R. Oweilaemi,
President, IYC, worldwide
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