The All Progressives Congress (APC) says the suspension of Walter Onnoghen, chief justice of Nigeria (CJN), has devastated the plans of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to get back to power through “cash and carry” judicial system.
In a statement on Monday, Lanre Issa-Onilu, APC spokesman, said PDP’s opposition to Onnoghen’s suspension points to “their penchant for anything corrupt and criminal”.
Issa-Onilu said Onnoghen, who is accused of false assets declaration, should have resigned and faced trial after “his confession”.
“The strident opposition to Justice Onnoghen’s suspension coming from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) led by its presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar again points to their penchant for anything corrupt and criminal,” he said.
“In the spirit of good conscience, integrity, character and general conduct expected of occupants of public office, we are of the strong position that Justice Onnoghen should have resigned immediately to face his trial after his confession and spare the Judiciary further disrepute. Justice Onnoghen did not. This in itself smells mischief.
“Justice Onnoghen fought to keep himself as CJN by all means possible, thereby fighting the same constitution that he swore to protect.
“It is important to remind the PDP and Atiku that Justice Onnoghen is not entitled to special treatment. Such entitlement being canvassed by the PDP and Atiku is alien to our laws and not in tandem with our cardinal objective of fighting against corruption and indeed our overall change agenda.
“It is clear that Justice Onnoghen’s suspension has devastated the PDP as their plans to get back to power through the ‘cash and carry’ justice system they put in place during their unfortunate 16 years reign is in serious jeopardy.”
Issa-Onilu said the country must remain committed to the change promised by his party.
“We fought for change, our country is changing and we remain committed to the process. The PDP and Atiku have asked the international community to intervene in Justice Onnoghen’s suspension,” he said.
“Is the international community not supportive of the fight against corruption? Against the backdrop of statements by some foreign concerns over Justice Onnoghen’s suspension vis-a-vis forthcoming general elections, we strongly advise that they are abreast with our laws and procedures.
“A situation were these foreign concerns come across as meddling or being misled or influenced by bogus partisan narratives is unfortunate and unacceptable.”