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Onnoghen was PDP, Atiku’s plan to rig election, APC alleges

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The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) on Monday alleged that the suspension to the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Walter Onnoghen was a blow to plots by the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar to rig the 2019 elections.

“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,” APC spokesman Lanre Issa-Onilu said in a statement.

“In citing the election tribunals as a 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?”

Onnoghen, was suspended by Nigeria president Muhammadu Buhari on Friday, January 25, over refusal to declare his assets in breach of the provision of the Code of Conduct Bureau Act.

The suspended CJN is also accused of maintaining domiciliary foreign currencies account which comprised Dollars Account, Pound Sterling Account and Euro Account which are alleged to be contrary to relevant laws, especially for public office holders.

Onnoghen’s suspension and the swearing-in of Ibrahim Tanko Mohammed as acting CJN drew criticisms from the PDP and other opposition parties, as well as the international communities.

However, the APC spokesman believes that “the strident opposition to Justice Onnoghen’s suspension coming from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) led by its presidential candidate, Alh. Atiku Abubakar again points to their penchant for anything corrupt and criminal”.

“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.”

Issa-Onilu said Atiku and the PDP wish for “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.”

He stated that “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.”

The PDP had also said Onnoghen’s suspension was because Buhari and the APC planned to rig the elections, but the APC spokesman denied the claims, saying, “Our firm commitment to ridding the country of corruption and ensuring credible electioneering processes remains resolute.”

“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.”

“Justice Onnoghen fought to keep himself as CJN by all means possible, thereby fighting the same constitution that he swore to protect,” Issa-Onilu said.


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