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Monday, 14 January 2019

Don't Appear Before CCT, South South Governors Tell CJN


Governors of the South-South geopolitical zone on Sunday urged the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, to ignore the summons issued to him by the Code of Conduct Tribunal to come and defend the false assets declaration charges levelled against him.
This is as eminent lawyers and other prominent Nigerians including the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and the Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, Chief Afe Babalola (SAN) and Femi Falana (SAN), condemned the Federal Government for instituting the charges against the CJN. They warned against rubbishing the judiciary.
Among other things, they said the haste with which the Federal Government acted on the petition against Onnoghen was suspicious.
But as the governors were holding their meeting in Abuja, militants from the Niger Delta issued a statement where they threatened to shut down all oil wells in the region if the Federal Government failed to withdraw the charges against the CJN.
The governors after the emergency meeting held at the Bayelsa State Governor's Lodge, Abuja, said the CJN should shun the summons.
Present at the meeting included the Governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson; Nyesom Wike, (Rivers State); Ben Ayade, (Cross River); and Udom Emmanuel, (Akwa Ibom). Delta and Edo states’ governors were absent at the meeting.
Dickson, who read the communique, said while they were not opposed to a genuine fight against corruption, such an action must always be anchored on the rule of law.
He said, “We call on the CJN to ignore this so - called court summons from the CCT and the provocative call for his resignation in some quarters.
“While we are not opposed to a genuine fight against corruption, such an action must always be anchored on the rule of law.”
He stated that the action would not only undermine confidence in the judiciary, it would also erode confidence in the electoral process in view of the pivotal role that the judiciary plays in the process of electoral adjudication.
The governor said they believed that President Muhammadu Buhari had a constitutional responsibility and moral obligation to defend the nation's democracy.

Punch

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