… as El Rufai says Onnoghen is shameless
By Ben Agande, Kaduna
Hundreds of placard-bearing protesters, Friday morning, stormed the Kaduna state government House in solidarity with President Muhammadu Buhari for suspending the embattled Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen.
The protesters, who were stopped about a hundred metres away from the main entrance to the Kaduna State seat of power, called on Justice Onnoghen to resign his position in order to save the judiciary from further embarrassment.
Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El Rufai, who mounted an armoured personnel carrier stationed in front of the government house, thanked the protesters for their solidarity march with the president while describing the suspended chief Justice as a “shameless judge” who has demonstrated that he is no longer fit to continue in office.
Addressing the protesters, El Rufai said it was time for every well meaning Nigerian to support president Buhari in his fight against corruption.
Quoting Othman Dan Fodio, the founder of Sokoto Caliphate, the governor said corruption in the judiciary is the worst form of corruption and no society can survive it.
According to him, “I want to express happiness to all of you for coming together to convey this very clear statement from the people of Kaduna State that in Kaduna, we do not support corruption; in Kaduna state, we do not support injustice, in Kaduna State, we are 100% behind the integrity of our president. I can assure you that the message you have given to me will be delivered to the president today.
“The case with Justice Onnoghen is a very sad one. Othman Dan Fodio, the founder of the Sokoto caliphate, wrote that the worst form of corruption you can find in any public servant is judicial corruption because, when the president is corrupt or the governor is corrupt, it is to the judge that ordinary people can take their case to. When the judge himself is corrupt, it is the highest form of corruption and must never be condoned.
“The case of Justice Onnoghen is the case in which somebody who has worked in government for past twenty years suddenly has Millions of Dollars in his account, he has admitted but says he has forgotten about them, which means he has more money than Aliko Dangote because I do not think Dangote will forget $1 Million in his account.
“The president did the right thing by asking him to step aside pending investigation. It is the proper thing to do. It is what is done in every organised and civilised society. Unfortunately, some people in Nigeria are trying to make white black and black, white. They are using technicalities to delay bringing this man to Justice.
“Mr President did not remove Onnoghen from office. He said in honour of the judiciary, he should step aside so that the charges against him can be investigated and prosecuted. But the man is shameless, he does not want to go but it is time for Nigerians to come all out and tell him he must go. Our judiciary must be clean. Our judiciary must consist of judges who cannot be bought,” the governor said.
Earlier in his speech, spokesman of the coalition of NGOs that organised the protests, Abdulrauf Abdullahi, said the protest was organised “in recognition of the competence and integrity” of the president.
According to him, “The CJN should be made to step aside and prosecuted. We want you to convey this message to the president,” he told El Rufai.