UPDATED: Onnoghen absent as protest rocks CCT headquarters
Members of the coalition political parties and some lawyers under auspices of Lawyers in Defence of Democracy and National Interest Defenders on Tuesday besieged the headquarters Code of Conduct Tribunal to protest against the trial of embattled Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen.
The protesters, who were armed with placards with various inscriptions such as: “Amaehi, El-Rufai, Akpabio, Malami, APC; brains behind Onnoghen’s trial”, “CCT trail of Onnoghen is unconstitutional” among others accused the ruling All Progressives Congress leaders of persecuting Onnoghen over Rivers State court judgment against the party.
Meanwhile, Onnoghen, who was alleged to have involved in false asset declaration shuned Umar-led panel for second time.
The CJN’s travail has generated a lot of reactions from many Senior Advocates, following a petition submitted to Code of Conduct Bureau by former aide to President Muhammadu Buhari, Dennis Aghanya.
Addressing crowd during the protest, National Coordinator and joint Spokesperson of the group, Ikenga Ugochinyere, warned President Buhari to “stop pretending and showing ignorance of what Presidency cabals are doing to destroy the sacred judiciary.
“President Buhari should know that he and all members of the Presidency cabals would be held personally held responsible if for any reason there is a breach of peace and the country descends into anarchy,” he said.
Ugochinyere reiterated that efforts to issue any warrant arrest against Onnoghen will throw Nigeria into confusion, adding the ruling party should stop plot to “illegally” remove CJN from office after which “a pro-APC judge, Justice Tanko Mohammed would be installed as acting Chief Justice of Nigeria.
He said, “The President wants install a pliable Justice to help APC get favourable judgements from the Supreme Court in the Rivers and Zamfara APC crisis, in the presidential election and in the states where they are afraid they will lose elections and the states include, Akwa Ibom, Delta, Lagos, Benue, Imo, Kwara, Plateau, Kaduna, Abia and Sokoto states.”