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No gang-up by judiciary against anti-graft fight, says Onnoghen


Justice Walter Onnoghen

The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Walter Onnoghen has said that there is no gang up by the judiciary against the executive or any other arm of government, to frustrate its policies including the anti corruption war.

Onnoghen told State House correspondents yesterday in Abuja after a private meeting with the President that if there is any iota of doubt in this direction from any quarter, there must be proofs to authenticate the claims.

The CJN made the statement against the backdrop of the fact that the Federal Government has lost four (4) key corruption cases to the suspects at some Federal High Court. These include corruption charges brought against former First Lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan, former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godsday Orubebe, Justice Adeniyi Ademola and Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN).

Onnoghen said: “There must be a winner and a loser. In our system, a loser has the chance of appealing to the highest court eventually. So, you cannot say because the government or any agency has lost a case in the high court, the fight is losing steam. You should realise that there is a constitution in place and under the constitution there is the rule of law.

“So, every system under the rule of law must have these checks and balances to protect everyone. It is for everyone,” the CJN said.According to the topmost judge, “I have told you that if you are not satisfied, the system is fashioned and designed in such a way that if you lose in the magistrate court and you are not satisfied, because someone must win and another must lose; so the loser has the chance of testing the decision on appeal. When it comes to the judiciary, don’t be judgmental. When you are judgmental, you become prejudice.”

The CJN, who said he came to the villa to see the President and felicitate with him on his return from medical vacation as well appreciate the confidence reposed in him to lead the judiciary, assured he is committed to ensuring that the rule of law is enshrined in its totality in Nigeria.

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Walter Onnoghen
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