Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki has advised the Federal Government to ensure that its plans to put on trial the nation’s chief judicial officer, Hon. Justice Walter Onnoghen, does not cause chaos in the judicial system and that the due process is not compromised.
Saraki in a statement in Ilorin today noted that he believes that if the Government truly has
He said a situation where the petition which triggered the trial was submitted to the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) on
“It is important for the government and members of the public to know that as somebody who
“The proposed trial of the CJN has once again opened up the debate on the transparency and neutrality of the fight against corruption. The haste with which this trial is being pursued leaves a lot to be desired. From last Wednesday when the so-called petition against the CJN was initiated to the period the trial is scheduled to commence has been barely three working days whereas there are pending cases
While noting that the anti-corruption fight has become a case of a separate rule for the people close to the executive branch and another set of rules for the rest of Nigerians, the Senate President stated that the fight has been compromised and politicized.
“All these subjective actions politicize the anti-graft fight. They weaken national institutions. They send wrong signals. The CJN is not above the law but his trial puts the entire judicial system on trial. It sends a signal to the entire world about our judiciary. It has implications for the confidence of local and foreign investors about the system of adjudication over disputes in our country. Thus, the matter should be handled with care, demonstrating intense transparency and strict adherence to due process.
“This trial, coming just about a month to the commencement of the presidential elections, the aftermath of which the CJN and the judiciary he is leading are set to play crucial adjudicatory role, has already raised suspicion about the real motive. There are already suggestions that this plan is set to disorganize the judicial arm after constant attempts by agents of State to undermine the federal legislature.
“Therefore, the entire country and the international community will be watching closely every step in this trial because it is definitely unusual, unprecedented and will set a record in the engagement among the three arms of government recognized in our presidential system. This trial definitely has implications for the principle of separation of powers and concept of checks and balance embedded in our presidential system of government”, Saraki stated.
Yusuph OlaniyonuSpecial Adviser (Media and Publicity)