Noah Ebije, Kaduna
The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has said the law must take its full course on the suspension of Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Mr. Walter Onnoghen.
ACF said as long as the country is concerned, nobody is above the law and, as such, Onnoghen cannot be an exemption.
This was contained in a communique after the Forum’s meeting, attended by BOT members from all parts of the 19 northern states and the Federal Capital Territory.
The communique was signed by the ACF Secretary General, Mr. Anthony Sani.
“The meeting discussed a number of issues, including the current controversies relating to the suspension from office of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, His Lordship Justice Walter Onnoghen.
“ACF cannot defend the position taken by Onnoghen, especially his insistence that he should first be tried by the National Judicial Council, of which he is chairman. To do so would have allowed him sit in judgment over his own case. “ACF deeply regrets the conduct of justice Onnoghen, particularly his refusal to step aside and allow the due process of the law take its course. He has created the impression that his personal interests in this matter supercede that of the judiciary and the nation.
“On their part, law enforcement agencies must strive to always execute their tasks in neat and professional manner; in order to avoid creating perceptions of partisanship.
“In the end, Nigeria cannot hope to develop and take its rightful place in the comity of nations unless and until we learn to respect our laws and enforce them fairly and consistently,” the ACF said.
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s first female Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mrs. Folake Solanke, has decried the controversy arising from Onnoghen’s suspension.
Solanke, who spoke at a special valedictory court session organised by the Oyo State judiciary, in honour of late Justice Dulcie Oguntoye, yesterday, said the legal profession is on trial.
“There is professional lamentation in the land and the Bar and the Bench must rise up to their professional responsibilities; and cleanse the filthy augean stable of Nigeria.
“I can only appeal, again, to the professional reprobates to stop polluting the stream of justice.
“Their egregious conduct inflicts mud on and taints the innocent with corruption.
“However, not only the erring lawyers or judges are to be blame, the people who corrupt them must also share in the infamy which engulfs the profession.
“Sadly, the legislature, executive, law enforcement agencies and the private sector are also tainted with corruption,’’ Solanke said.