Saturday, 20 March 2021

Ex CJN Onnoghen Finally Speaks: Why Buhari Removed Me

Former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen (rtd) on Friday broke silence on why the President Muhammad Buhari led APC government unceremoniously removed him from office in 2019.

Onnoghen, at a book launch he attended with his wife on Friday, revealed that prior to his removal, there had been rumour from the Executive that he held a meeting with former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, preparatory to the 2019 general elections.

Onnoghen spoke at the unveiling of a book titled ‘Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules, 2009, Practice, Procedure, Forms and Precedents’, authored by a renowned legal luminary, Chief Ogwu James Onoja, SAN.

The former CJN said he was surprised that inspite of the fact that the Federal Government had all the machinery to investigate the allegation of the rumoured meeting with Atiku, it never did so, but opted to unlawfully go after him and his office.

Onnoghen said the rumour was thick and spread fast, but he decided not to react to it because he never travelled to Dubai or held any meeting with anybody, including Atiku.

Onnoghen said that the situation climaxed when suddenly, his trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal was stage-managed, even when he had not been invited or accused of any wrongdoing.

The action of the government, according to Onnoghen, got to the peak when in the course of the trial and when parties had joined issues, an ex-parte application was suddenly brought in, and what followed was his illegal and unlawful suspension as the CJN.

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