By Umar Muhammad Puma
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has said the suspension of the Justice Walter Onnoghen has clearly devastated the Peoples Democratic party (PDP), the plans to get back to power through the cash and carry.
In a statement issued yesterday by the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Malian Lanre Issa-Onilu, said the strident opposition to Justice Onnoghen’s suspension coming from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) led by its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, again points to their penchant for anything corrupt and criminal.
“In recent weeks Nigerians have been inundated with reports regarding self-confessed discrepancies in the asset declaration made by erstwhile Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen. So acting on an order of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday took the decisive action of suspending Onnoghen.
“We must ask ourselves these questions, why was Justice Onnoghen suspended? What are the charges against him? It is on the basis of this, we had expected the PDP, Atiku and their agents to assess the President’s action.
“In the spirit of good conscience, integrity, character and general conduct expected of occupants of public office, we are of the strong position that Justice Onnoghen should have resigned immediately to face his trial after his confession and spare the Judiciary further disrepute. Justice Onnoghen did not. This in itself smells mischief.
“It is important to remind the PDP and Atiku that Justice Onnoghen is not entitled to special treatment. Such entitlement being canvassed by the PDP and Atiku is alien to our laws and not in tandem with our cardinal objective of fighting against corruption and indeed our overall Change Agenda.
“We have read the PDP and Atiku’s responses to the President’s action with shock albeit with a feeling of vindication. Their responses portray the Nigeria they wish for. A Nigeria where the rich and powerful are above the law; a Nigeria riddled with corruption and disregard for set down rules and laws as enshrined in the constitution; a Nigeria where institutions of government are manipulated and exploited for the benefit of a few privileged.
“For one, the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike’s hold on Justice Onnoghen and a few others in the Judiciary is well-known. This was their trump card to hijack power post-election. It is clear that Justice Onnoghen’s suspension has devastated the PDP as their plans to get back to power through the “cash and carry” justice system they put in place during their unfortunate 16 years reign is in serious jeopardy.
“In citing the election tribunals as reason for Justice Onnoghen’s suspension, has Atiku given himself away on his now busted plot to use the tribunals to steal the people’s mandate in the presidential election he knows he will lose?
“Nigerians have seen beyond the PDP and Atiku’s charade and reject their dream and inordinate personal ambition in totality. Nigerians have seen the handwriting on the wall and we are poised to defeat the PDP and Atiku in the coming elections under a free, fair, and credible electoral process.