News

CJN: Buhari’s address on the removal of Onnoghen, appointment of Mohammed

ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, MUHAMMADU BUHARI, PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, ON THE SUSPENSION OF HONOURABLE JUSTICE WALTER NKANU SAMUEL ONNOGHEN AS CHIEF JUSTICE OF NIGERIA AND SWEARING IN OF ACTING CHIEF JUSTICE, 25TH JANUARY 2019

Fellow Nigerians,

A short while ago, I was served with an Order of the Code of Conduct Tribunal issued on Wednesday 23rd January 2019, directing the suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Honourable Justice Walter Nkanu Samuel Onnoghen from office pending final determination of the cases against him at the Code of Conduct Tribunal and several other fora relating to his alleged breach of the Code of Conduct for Public Officers.

2.      The nation has been gripped by the tragic realities of no less a personality than the Chief Justice of Nigeria himself becoming the accused person in a corruption trial since details of the petition against him by a Civil Society Organization first became public about a fortnight ago.

3.      Although the allegations in the petition are grievous enough in themselves, the security agencies have since then traced other suspicious transactions running into millions of dollars to the CJN’s personal accounts, all  undeclared or improperly declared as required by law.

4.      Perhaps more worrisome is the Chief Justice of Nigeria’s own written admission to the charges that he indeed failed to follow the spirit and letter of the law in declaring his assets, citing ’’mistake’’ and ’’forgetfulness’’ which are totally unknown to our laws as defences in the circumstances of his case.

5.      One expected that with his moral authority so wounded, by these serious charges of corruption, more so by his own written admission, Mr. Justice Walter Onnoghen would have acted swiftly to spare our Judicial Arm further disrepute by removing himself from superintending over it while his trial lasted.

6.      Unfortunately, he has not done so. Instead, the nation has been treated to the sordid spectacle of a judicial game of wits in which the Chief Justice of Nigeria and his legal team have made nonsense of the efforts of the Code of Conduct Tribunal to hear the allegation on merit and conclude the trial as quickly as possible considering the nature of the times in which we live.

7.      Whether deliberately or inadvertently, we have all seen the full weight of the Chief Justice of Nigeria descend on the tender head of one of the organs of justice under his control. There is simply no way the officers of that court, from the Chairman to the bailiffs, can pretend to be unaffected by the influence of the leader of the Judiciary.

8.      Not only the trial court, but others have been put on the spot. Practically every other day since his trial commenced, the nation has witnessed various courts granting orders and counter-orders in favour of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, all of them characterised by an unholy alacrity between the time of filing, hearing and delivery of judgment in same.

9.      The real effect has been a stalling of the trial of Justice Onnoghen, helped along by lawyers who insist that these orders, whether right or wrong are technically valid, and must be obeyed till an appellate Court says otherwise. No doubt, that it is the proper interpretation, but is it the right disposition for our nation?

10.    Nigeria is a constitutional democracy and no one must be, or be seen to be, above the law. Unfortunately, the drama around the trial of the Chief Justice of Nigeria has challenged that pillar of justice in the perception of the ordinary man on the street. For it is certain that no ordinary Nigerian can get the swift and special treatment Justice Onnoghen has enjoyed from his subordinates and privies in our Judicature.

11.      In the midst of all these distracting events, the essential question of whether the accused CJN actually has a case to answer has been lost in the squabble over the form and nature of his trial. This should not be so.

12.      If Justice cannot be done and clearly seen to be done, society itself is at risk of the most unimaginable chaos. As a Government, we cannot stand by wailing and wringing our hands helplessly but give our full backing and support to those brave elements within the Judiciary who act forthrightly, irrespective of who is involved.

13.      As you are all aware, the fight against corruption is one of the tripod of policies promised to Nigerians by this administration.  Needless to say that it is an existential Policy which must be given adequate attention and commitment by all the three arms of government. The efforts of the Executive will amount to nothing without the cooperation of the Legislature and especially the Judiciary.

14.      It is no secret that this government is dissatisfied with the alarming rate in which the Supreme Court of Nigeria under the oversight of Justice Walter Onnoghen has serially set free, persons accused of the most dire acts of corruption, often on mere technicalities, and after quite a number of them have been convicted by the trial and appellate courts.

15.      Since there is nothing the Executive Arm can do after the apex court of the land has spoken on any matter, several of these individuals walk free among us today, enjoying what are clearly the proceeds of the corruption which for so long has defeated the efforts of this nation to develop and prosper.

16.    It is against this background that I have received the Order of the Code of Conduct Tribunal directing me to suspend the Chief Justice pending final determination of the cases against him. It also explains why I am not only complying immediately, but with some degree of relief for the battered sensibilities of ordinary Nigerians whose patience must have become severely over-taxed by these anomalies.

17.      In line with this administration’s avowed respect for the Rule of Law, I have wholeheartedly obeyed the Order of the Code of Conduct Tribunal dated 23rd January 2019.

18.      Accordingly, I hereby suspend the Honourable Mr. Justice Walter Nkanu Samuel Onnoghen, GCON as the Chief Justice of Nigeria pending final determination of the case against him at the Code of Conduct Tribunal.

19.      In further compliance with the same Order of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, I hereby invite Honourable Justice Ibrahim Tanko Mohammed JSC, being the next most Senior Justice in the Supreme Court, to come forward to take the Judicial Oath as Chief Justice of Nigeria in an Acting Capacity.

20.    Fellow Nigerians, we can only stand a chance to win the fight against Corruption, and position our dear nation for accelerated development when we stand together to contend against it.

Thank you and may God bless our country.

Comment With Facebook

Comments (141)

  1. Hi right. My name is Magali. My friends say it is not good for me but things i love doing is read through comics however struggle unearth time sell. Administering databases is how I earn their living but I plan on changing the game. For years I’ve been dealing with California. He’s been working on his website for a few days now. Try it for yourself here: #link#

  2. Nice fulfill you, I am Thomas Shattuck. His wife and him chose to reside Vermont and he will never move. Credit authorising is how she makes money but she intentions of changing it then. Climbing exactly what I do every networking. I am running and maintaining a blog here: #link#

  3. Thanks on your marvelous posting! I truly enjoyed reading it, you will be a great author.I will be sure to bookmark your blog and will eventually come back in the future. I want to encourage yourself to continue your great work, have a nice holiday weekend!|

  4. Wow, wonderful blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your website is excellent, as well as the content!|

  5. For newest news you have to go to see internet and on web I found this web page as a most excellent web site for hottest updates.|

  6. I could not resist commenting. Well written!|

  7. Thanks , I have recently been looking for information approximately this subject for a long time and yours is the greatest I’ve discovered so far. However, what about the conclusion? Are you sure in regards to the source?|

  8. Nice post. I learn something more challenging on different blogs everyday. It will always be stimulating to read content from other writers and practice a little something from their store. I?d prefer to use some with the content on my blog whether you don?t mind. Natually I?ll give you a link on your web blog. Thanks for sharing.

  9. The writer’s name is Miss Epley. My family lives in Connecticut. It’s no common thing but things i like doing is solving puzzles although i don’t will have the time newly. The job she has been occupying hottest is an individual resources assistant but she plans on changing it. See what’s new on my website here: #link#

  10. Hi on that point there. My name is Magali though Do not really like being called like that the majority of. His day job is a procurement officer. For a while he’s been in Puerto Rico and his parents live nearby. As a woman what she really likes is solving puzzles but now she is attempting to cash in on it. She is running and maintaining a blog here: #link#

  11. The writer’s name is Miss Epley. It’s as opposed to a common thing but things i like doing is solving puzzles but i don’t acquire the time recently. My family lives in Connecticut. The job she has been occupying best is somebody’s resources assistant but she plans on changing it all. See what’s new on my website here: #link#

  12. Simply desire to say your article is as astounding. The clarity to your post is simply great and i could think you are a professional on this subject. Well with your permission let me to grab your RSS feed to stay up to date with approaching post. Thank you one million and please keep up the enjoyable work.|

  13. Nice to you, I’m Thad. It’s not really a huge common thing but what she likes doing is electronics and these days she has time to try to get new products. I am currently a procurement officer and the salary has been really pleasant. Vermont is where my house is and my parents live nearby. You can find my website here: #link#

  14. Hi there. My name is Magali though I don’t really like being called like by which. As a woman what she really loves is solving puzzles and here she is wanting to earn with it. His day job is a procurement specialist. For a while he’s visited Puerto Rico and his parents live nearby. She is running and maintaining weblog here: #link#

  15. The author is known by the name of Thad in which he totally digs that identity. California is where he’s always been living. I am really fond of climbing and I’ll be starting another thing along together with. Administering databases has been his normal work for a time. You can always find her website here: #link#

  16. You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be really something which I believe I might never understand. It kind of feels too complex and extremely huge for me. I’m looking forward to your next put up, I’ll attempt to get the hang of it!|

  17. The author is known by the name of Violeta but she never really liked that legal name. For years he’s been obviously Vermont. My friends say it isn’t good for me personally but things i love doing is to jog and I’ll be starting something else along with it. I am currently a cashier and it is something I enjoy. You can find my website here: #link#

  18. Greetings from California! I’m bored at work so I decided to check out your blog on my iphone during lunch break. I love the knowledge you present here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home. I’m surprised at how fast your blog loaded on my cell phone .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyhow, good blog!|

  19. Miss Friel is what’s written in her birth certificate and she totally digs that name. His wife doesn’t like it the way he does but what he really likes doing is researching fashion but he can’t allow it to be his task. Supervising has been my profession for a but I plan on changing which. My husband and I chose to live in California. If you want to find out more away his website: #link#

  20. This design is incredible! You definitely know how to keep a reader entertained. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Great job. I really loved what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it. Too cool!|

  21. Miss Friel is the name I like to be called with flawed is not the name on my birth certificates. Office supervising is generate an income make money but the promotion never occurs. To read comics is combined with the I’ve in deep trouble years. Her house is now in Puerto Rico. If you want to find uot more check out his website: #link#

  22. Basil is what you can call me but could call me anything you like. My family lives in Ct bank. One of my favorite hobbies might be to camp however haven’t designed a dime utilizing. Data processing wherever his primary income stems from. If you want to find uot more away his website: #link#

  23. Hello! Do you know if they make any plugins to help with SEO? I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I’m not seeing very good results. If you know of any please share. Thank you!|

  24. Hi typically. My name is Magali though Do not think really like being called like exactly who. His day job is a procurement officer. For a while he’s held it’s place in Puerto Rico and his parents live nearby. As a woman what she really loves is solving puzzles and also she is intending to earn money with it. She is running and maintaining a blog here: #link#

  25. Good post. I learn something new and challenging on websites I stumbleupon on a daily basis. It’s always exciting to read through content from other authors and use a little something from their web sites. |

  26. That is a good tip particularly to those fresh to the blogosphere. Brief but very accurate information… Appreciate your sharing this one. A must read article!

  27. Good web site you’ve got here.. It’s difficult to find excellent writing like yours nowadays. I seriously appreciate people like you! Take care!!

  28. Next time I read a blog, Hopefully it does not fail me just as much as this particular one. After all, Yes, it was my choice to read, but I actually thought you would probably have something interesting to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something you could fix if you weren’t too busy seeking attention.

Comment here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.