The social media is agog with news of CJN Walter Onoghen indicted by the CCT, to be arraigned on Monday. Directed by the Presidency to step aside and one wonders the speed at which we have this accelerated hearing and why close to the 2019 Presidential Elections.
According to our sources, the President Muhammadu Buhari led Federal Government has ordered the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen to immediately vacate office.
Consequently, the government will on Monday January 14, 2019 arraign the CJN before the Justice Danladi Yakubu led-Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) in Abuja on charges of failures to declare his assets as required by law and for operating Bank Domiciliary Foreign Currency Accounts.
The charge against Justice Onnoghen was b filed and served on him last Friday at his official residence in Abuja preparatory for his appearance at the tribunal.
The Federal Government among others is accusing Nigeria’s Head of the judiciary of refusal to declare his assets in breach of the provision of the Code of Conduct Bureau Act.
He is also being accused of maintaining Domiciliary foreign currencies account which comprised Dollars Account, Pound Sterling Account and Euro Account which are alleged to be contrary to relevant laws, especially for public office holders.
Justice Onnoghen, whose appointment suffered delay by President Muhammadu Buhari over undisclosed issues, may be the first CJN in Nigeria to be arraigned for criminal charges by the Federal Government.
Apart from putting the Chief Justice in the dock on Monday, a motion on notice is to be filed against him praying the tribunal to order him to vacate office and recuse himself from office so as to prevent alleged interference in his arraignment and trial.
A Senior Advocate of Nigeria was said to have been engaged by Federal Government to prosecute justice Onnoghen.
Already, eminent lawyers have volunteered to put their services at the disposal of Justice Onnoghen
Some have said this is a grand plan.
Speaking on his social media handle. Barr Kissinger Ikeokwu said:
"This is a deliberate affront on the Judiciary. The Bar must rise up to the occasion.
We cannot allow Buhari and APC in their desperation to seek to weaken our most solid Arm of Government.
Buhari must respect the institution of the Nigerian Judiciary as Independent and Sacrosanct.
This is clearly dictatorship loading. Not even Abacha tried this.
Let us all stand up and be counted. Let's speak with one voice and in one accord.
If the judiciary is rubbished we will lose our respect and credibility as lawyers.
We say No to the attempt to weaken the Judiciary. This is a grand design by the APC government to stampede and cajole the Judiciary in Nigeria"