The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, Friday denied offering any bribe to the Honourable Justice of the Supreme Court or any other judge for that matter to influence judicial proceeding at any time.
In a statement made available to journalists in Abuja, the minister said he was astonished by the allegations of Justice Ngwuta in his October 18, 2016 petition to the Honourable Chief Justice of Nigeria and the National Judicial Council, NJC, wherein he alleged that the minister approached him on Ebonyi governorship legal tussles.
“I am astonished that Justice Ngwuta made such statements against my humble self, especially considering that he is my brother, friend and long standing associate of almost three decades,” Onu stated.
According to him: “I have laboured with other compatriots to strengthen the depth and reach of participatory democracy in our beloved country. In doing so, I am conscious of the essence of the rule of law as a vital component of true and enduring democracy and the important need to treasure, protect and defend it at all times. Even as a student, teacher, engineer and administrator, I have always worked tirelessly to uphold the rule of law.”
The minister, who further clarified that he has known the Igwenyi family for a long time and as such exchanges visits from time to time with the family, maintained that coming from the same old Ohaozara Local Council with Justice Ngwuta, the relationship between them have been that of mutual respect for one another over the years.
“I have always been a builder, not a destroyer, a man of peace, honour and justice and shall remain so. I do not have any hand whatsoever in his present travail,” he stated, adding that as a firm believer in honour, such attribute has guided him throughout his more than 25 years career in public service.
“I have not changed. And I will never change. I wish to reassure Hon. Justice Sylvester Nwali Ngwuta that regardless of the circumstance, my heart goes out to him, especially at this challenging time of his career as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria,” Onu stated.
Recall that operatives of the Department of State Security had penultimate weekend raided the Abuja home of Justice Ngwuta before arresting him, with a claim that they found foreign currencies in his apartment.