Abuja, Nigeria, 12 Jan 2019:
I have received the news of the
sudden charges about to be filed against the Chief Justice
of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, with apprehension and
suspicion especially as such a move against the head of an
arm of our government is coming so close to an election in
preparation of which the Buhari administration has shown
My suspicions are further exacerbated by the fact that the
Buhari government is pressuring an independent and self
governing arm of government with the aim of getting CJN
Walter Onnoghen to resign or be pushed aside.
I stand on the side of the rule of law and believe that a
person is innocent until proven guilty.
If Justice Walter Onnoghen is guilty of the charges about to
be preferred against him, let his guilt be determined by a
competent court of law and not by the Buhari
administration. The executive cannot usurp the role of the
judiciary. Nigeria is still a democracy and not a fascist
dictatorship as President Buhari may wish.
Any attempt to force Justice Walter Onnoghen to vacate his
office, 4 weeks to an election for which the unpopular
Buhari administration has shown every intention to
manipulate, is a move pregnant with negative meaning.
I see no reason whatsoever for the ongoing pressure by the
Buhari government to force Justice Walter Onnoghen to
vacate office when he has not been convicted for any
I therefore call on the President to respect the principle of
separation of powers and abide by the rule of law on this
matter and stop any interference or pressure on Justice
Walter Onnoghen or the judiciary and allow the law and the
constitution take its full course.
~ Atiku Abubakar