Graft Fight: CJN replies presidency, critics


  • Says judiciary not frustrating Buhari’s anti-graft fight

The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice  Walter Onnoghen on Tuesday vowed that the judiciary under his watch would not frustrate the on-going anti corruption war by President Buhari’s administration.

Onnoghen told newsmen at the State House on Tuesday in Abuja after a private meeting with the President.

According to him, the fact that some individuals were alleging a gang up by the judiciary against the cardinal policies of the executive would not make it correct.

He said if there was any iota of doubt in this direction from any quarter, there must be proofs to authenticate the claims.

Onnoghen was reacting to allegation regarding the Federal Government’s loss of four (4) key corruption cases to the suspects at some Federal High Court.

These include corruption charges brought against former First Lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan, former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godsday Orubebe, Justice Adeniyi Ademola and Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN).

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Onnoghen said: “There must be a winner and a loser. In our system, a loser has the chance of appealing to the highest court eventually.

“So, you cannot say because the government or any agency has lost a case in the high court, the fight is losing steam.

“You should realise that there is a constitution in place and under the constitution there is the rule of law.

“So, every system under the rule of law must have these checks and balances to protect everyone. It is for everyone,” the CJN said.

According to the topmost judge, “I have told you that if you are not satisfied, the system is fashioned and designed in such a way that if you lose in the magistrate court and you are not satisfied, because someone must win and another must lose; so the loser has the chance of testing the decision on appeal.

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“When it comes to the judiciary, don’t be judgmental. When you are judgmental, you become prejudice.”

The CJN, who said he came to the villa to see the President and felicitate with him on his return from medical vacation as well appreciate the confidence reposed in him to lead the judiciary, assured he is committed to ensuring that the rule of law is enshrined in its totality in Nigeria.