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Onnoghen: Kwara LP guber carpets Buhari



Comrade Issa Aremu

The governorship candidate of Labour Party (LP) in Kwara State,  Comrade Issa Aremu, has advised President Muhammadu Buhari to revisit the recommendation of 2014 constitutional conference especially the aspects that has to do with appointment of judicial officers.
Aremu stated this in Ilorin on Sunday while reacting to the suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, over corruption allegations .
He noted that, “the process leading to and concerning the appointment of Judicial Officers should be advertised, done openly and transparently and essentially on merit.
“The recent  suspension of Honourable Justice Onnoghen as Chief Justice of Nigeria by President Muhammadu Buhari, purportedly based on an interim order by the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) over allegations of corruption and appointment of Mr. Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammed as Acting CJN.”
He however called for a critical evaluation of the administration of justice in Nigeria rather than what he called “on going partisan diatribes” and heated controversies over what is right or not.
In his address entitled: Judiciary on  Trial: Justice Mustafa Akanbi  and Gani Fahemihin at  Times Like  This, comrade Aremu observed that given the importance of rule of law, equity and justice to sustainable democracy, more than ever before, Nigerian judiciary needed reform and restructuring as a precondition for the transformation of Nigeria from corruption and underdevelopment to development and prosperity.
Recalling the steadfastness and principled positions of late Justice Mustapha Akanbi, the pioneer Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Ommision ( ICPC) and human rights lawyer, Gani Fahemihin on reforming judiciary and fighting corruption, Comrade Aremu wondered what would be the  reactions of the late luminaries to the current developments in the judiciary sector.
According to him, while “devil is in the technical details of the suspension of Mr Onnoghen” he said the substantive allegations and  causal defense of the CJ fanning ’mistake’’ and “forgetfulness’’  on the imperative of assets declarations should be of concern to all.
“In a country that has been running huge budget deficits, it is curious that a public officer of CJ standing could have surplus accounts in millions of foreign currency” adding “that he who dispenses justice to all must be accountable for his or her source of wealth.”
He recalled that in his classic Book: Audacity of Hope, the former America President, Barack Obama noted that some countries like “ , Nigeria …have developed two legal systems — one for foreigners and elites, and one for ordinary people”. He hailed President Buhari who in his address on the CJ urged the need to fight corruption.
Comrade Aremu also wondered why for whatever reason the head of the nation’s judiciary would be evading accountability by “shopping” for  restraining court orders wondering what National Industrial court had to do with allegation of assets declaration.
The LP candidate observed that suspension of a CJN who has the power to constitute election tribunals on the eve of 2019 elections must necessarily raise eyebrow and suspicions.
He however advised that rather than agonizing over the trial and suspension of the Justice Onnoghen, all stakeholders in the Judiciary sector and Nigerian democracy must organize to safe the administration of justice from perception of corruption, double standards and self help.
According to him what was also at stake on the CJN saga is character and morality of some public officers.
Aremu therefore urged that lawyers, especially Senior Advocates ( SANs) should defend justice not seeking “judgements” that favored the privileged in the society.

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