Magnus Eze, Enugu
Ohanaeze Ndigbo has warned that the prosecution of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onneghen was capable of instigating needless political instability that could lead to the end of the country.
It described the move as ill conceived, especially in the face of of an extant Court of Appeal decision, which interprets the procedure for prosecuting judicial officers.
President General of the apex Igbo sociocultural, Chief Nnia Nwodo, in a statement in Enugu, yesterday, said failure to follow the procedure indicated that the objective behind it was predetermined.
The statement by Special Adviser to Nwodo, Chief Emeka Attamah said: “The fact that the National Judicial Council has been ignored is not just illegal but suggests deliberate court shopping and a predetermined objective.
“Secondly, the fact that one of the issues being canvassed by the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) before the CCT is for an order of the CCT for the Chief Justice of Nigeria to step aside from his exalted office pending the conclusion of the trial contrary to the procedure for his removal from office as provided by the Nigerian constitution, exposes the aim of the prosecution.
“A perusal of some of the depositions in the charge sheet also shows a completely distorted conception of the regulations pertaining to the declaration of assets. Assets acquired after assumption of office are declared at the end of a public official’s tenure in order to present a comparison with assets declared on assumption of office.
“The federal government is heating up the polity. Not long ago we were entertained with all sorts of interpretations of the Vice President’s powers while the President is on leave.
“The general managing director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Cooperation (NNPC) was accused of violating laws pertaining to the award of contracts. Because he comes from a protected ethnic group and class, no investigation was conducted.
“Fulani herdsman killed 110 natives of Nimbo, in Enugu State; Police investigations led to the arrest of some of the herdsman with their telephone pictures of the carnage, but not one has been prosecuted.
“The same carnage took place in Benue State. Pictures of the murderers wearing the uniform of the choir members of a Catholic church where they murdered their priests and members of the congregation, were all over the social media. No one was arrested or prosecuted.
“Their sponsors, addressed a press conference recently extolling their ethnic agenda and making divisive and inciting statements. Not one of them was arrested.
“The insensitiveness of the Federal Government to respect our constitution and its patronage of double standards in the enforcement of the law is sickening and abhorrent.
“If these developments are taken together with the obvious rigging regulations approved by INEC, we fear that our country is about to be thrown into a needless political instability that is capable of leaving the country in the throes of death.”