James Ojo, Abuja
The Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN), yesterday, warned against any move to politicise the alleged non-declaration of assets by Chief Justice of Nigeria Walter Onnoghen.
Reacting to the development in the judiciary, president of JUSUN, Mr. Marwan Mustapha Adamu, said in a statement that members of the union had been placed on alert for any emergency.
Condemning the political and regional dimension to the matter, he stated that the public and commentators should not forget that the CJN was appointed based on merit and not on any sentiment.
“Even if the CJN committed such offence, the best option was for the petitioner to send his petition to the National Judicial Council (NJC), which is saddled with the responsibility of sanctioning a serving judicial officer,” he said.
According to him, the judiciary workers were watching the situation with keen interest and would not hesitate to take action if due process is not followed in resolving the matter.
He added that JUSUN has put the national executive committee of the union on alert for an emergency, if the matter persist.
Adamu also said the independence of the judiciary was non-negotiable, stressing that the union would not fold its hands and watch the judiciary being denigrated.
“Even if such offence is committed, that is not the process; the position is that there is an appeal court judgement that said any serving judicial officer who erred could only be prosecuted after the NJC has investigated and found him or her guilty.
“Most people today, on this matter, are raising suspicion because of the timing of the general election, and also the speed at which the petitioners filled the complaint, and the urgency with which the matter is being pursued has also shown that something is fishy.
“Also, we may wish to ask: When did the petitioner realise the anomalies?
“The CJN was appointed based on merit and not because he is from the South South or anywhere in the country. So, any regional or political sentiment will only put the CJN in bad light,” the union said.
The judiciary workers explained in the statement that, as an institution, the judiciary has the capacity to tackle the matter, even though “we recognise their concern, but it must come from a genuine quarter.”
“JUSUN is also watching and monitoring the development with keen interest and has put its members on red alert, not only on this matter but also on any other issue that has to do with the independent of the judiciary,” he said.