By Emma Amaize
PAN Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, the umbrella body of traditional rulers and stakeholders of the coastal states of Niger Delta, has asked the Federal Government to respect the rule of law and stop the alleged persecution of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Walter Onnoghen, whose only crime is that he is from South-South region.
PANDEF in a statement by the National Secretary, Dr. Alfred Mulade, said: “We implore desperate politicians and those advising Mr. President on this matter to exercise restrain as it is capable of throwing the country into needless crisis.
“As much we agree that nobody is above the law, we urge President Muhammadu Buhari to have respect for the rule of law and the nation’s constitution, which he swore to uphold. Justice Onnoghen’s only crime is that he hails from the South-South region, and as such, going into the general election, he could not be trusted to remain the Chief Justice of Nigeria by the highly prejudiced administration. So, he must be forced out, by hook or by crook to make way for someone from a preferred section of the country.
“This is not just an attempt to cow the judiciary, it is an onslaught on our hard- earned democracy, it smirks of a dangerous precedence and must be resisted by all well-meaning and patriotic Nigerians.
“We further call the attention of the International Community to the despotic actions and affront to democracy in Nigeria by the Buhari administration.”
“Let it be known to all that PANDEF and indeed the peoples of the Niger Delta region and the South-South shall not accept this persecution of Justice Walter Onnoghen, and we shall employ all legitimate means to resist it. This country belongs to all of us, and we are critical Stakeholders in the Nigerian state,” the group stated.