JUST IN: Finally, Onnoghen ReveaIs Why He Was Removed As A Chief Judge Of Nigeria | READ DETAILS
A former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, has revealed why the Federal Government removed him from office in 2019.
He made this known while speaking at a book launch; ‘Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules, 2009, Practice, Procedure, Forms and Precedents’, authored by a legal luminary, Chief Ogwu James Onoja, in Abuja.
Onnoghen who was removed unceremoniously said he was removed from office due to rumors from the Executive who alleged that he had a meeting with former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar in Dubai, preparatory to the 2019 general elections.
Onnoghen said the rumor was thick and spread fast but he decided not to react to it because he never traveled to Dubai or held any meeting with anybody, including Atiku.
The former CJN, expressed surprise over the machinery available for the Federal Government to investigate the allegation, which it sidelined, rather resolved to unlawfully come after him and his office.
According to Onnoghen, the situation got to its peak when his trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal was suddenly arranged , without him been invited nor accused of any wrongdoing.
In his words; “Prior to my suspension, I was confronted with no allegation. There were rumors that I met with Atiku in Dubai. As I am talking here today, I have never met Atiku one on one in my life. As if that was not enough, I was also accused of setting free, high-profile criminals, whereas I ceased to be a High Court Judge as far back as 1978.
“In the Supreme Court, I did not sit alone. We sit in panels. In all these rumors and outright accusations, I was not given the opportunity to defend myself.
“Let me make it clear that the office of the CJN was not for Onnoghen but for all Nigerians who had sworn to guide and protect the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“To say the least, the period of my ordeal was the darkest era in the history of the Nigerian judiciary.
“As I have severally said, Judicial officers must be courageous. And I want to beg all serving judicial officers not to be discouraged by what happened to me in the hand of the Executive arm of the government.
“Emerging Nigerian judges should not go the direction of injustice because, without courageous judges and justices, Nigeria is doomed.
“Here, let me sound this note of warning that the appointment of judicial officers must never be allowed to be politicized, otherwise, democracy and democratic governance will be dead.
“During my tenure, the problem of Nigeria was not the Nigerian judiciary, but those who had no regard for the rule of law. We must therefore be committed to the rule of law and dispense justice without fear or favor.
“Truth stands, crush it, it will stand because it is truth” Onnoghen said.
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