Pages

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Onnoghen Conviction: Lawyer Fears Over The Tenure Of Governors, Lawmakers

Image result for Onnoghen Conviction: Lawyer Fears Over The Tenure Of Governors, Lawmakers
A constitutional lawyer and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr. Chukwuma Ma-Chukwu Ume has disclosed that the tenure of some sitting state governors and members of the National Assembly in the opposition political parties is not guaranteed as they would soon be thrown out of office using the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).

Ume who spoke with Daily Sun yesterday on the implication of the trial and conviction of former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Justice Walter Onnoghen by the CCT condemned the process and procedure that lead to the judgment.

The lawyer who was among Justice Onnoghen’s legal team faulted the judgment of the CCT which he maintained had some political colouration as it was not based on any legal principle.


According to him, ” the trial of the former CJN has nothing to do with fighting corruption as it was purely politically motivated.

“You can’t fight corruption when you have a corrupt intention. The trial was ill-intended aimed at achieving a political goal and not a national goal.

” Corruption should be fought for the purpose of eradicating corruption and for achieving a predetermined political agenda.

” The rule of law was thrown to the dustbin at the tribunal and the judgment is most unfortunate and collaboration to the fact of achieving a predetermined goal.

“From the formulation to trial, arraignment, wherein court orders were thrown to the dustbin and judgment which was based on no evidence known to law show that the whole act was set at a point of no-return. Like a plane, once it gets to its final acceleration, there is no going back.

” The political motive was set at a point of no return. It does not matter how the soul of the nation bleeds, however the constitution, democracy and judiciary is thrown to the mud as all that was at stake was the political interest.

” But what to an extent can a country grow when individual political interest supersedes national interest. That is why Nigeria which is the 6th largest producer of oil does not have a refinery,” Ume lamented.

Umeh expressed fear that “soon, the constitutional provision for the recall of elected members of the National Assembly who are in the opposition political parties will be thrown into the dustbin and the CCT will be used to recall them by their constituencies.

He lamented that Judges who are granted immunity by the constitution will be sacrificed by individual political interest of the ruling political party.

The Code of Conduct Tribunal had on Thursday, April 2019, convicted former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen in a circumstance that has put a question mark on the integrity and the independence of the country’s judiciary.

The former CJN, who had tendered his resignation letter following his suspension from office on account of his trial, was convicted on all the six-counts bordering on non-declaration of assets and maintaining five separate foreign bank accounts, in breach of the code of public office holders.

The tribunal consequently ordered the forfeiture of the money in all the five bank accounts of Onnoghen to the federal government and the banned him of from holding public office for a period of 10 years.

His travails started when the Federal government had in an unprecedented move on January 11, dragged him before the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, for trial, accusing him failing to declare his assets as prescribed by the law.

In the six-count charge marked CCT/ABJ/01/19, FG, equally accused Onnoghen of maintaining five separate foreign bank accounts, in breach of the code of conduct for public office holders.

The charge followed a petition dated January 7, which was lodged against the embattled CJN by a group under the aegis of Anti-Corruption and Research-Based Data Initiative.

No comments:

Post a comment