The Presidency says the war against corruption is all encompassing and not designed to persecute anyone for political or other reasons. Malam Garba Shehu, the senior special assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, disclosed this in statement while reacting to the conviction of suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, in Abuja
The Presidency says the war against corruption is all encompassing and not designed to persecute anyone for political or other reasons.
Malam Garba Shehu, the senior special assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, disclosed this in statement while reacting to the conviction of suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, in Abuja on Thursday.
He said the conviction of Onnoghen by the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) was a major victory for the anti-corruption policy of the Buhari administration.
Shehu explained that the outcome of the trial demonstrated clearly that “the law is no respecter of persons, titles, social or political connections”.
According to him, the essence of the rule of law is to hold everyone accountable before the law, regardless of their status in the society.
“The rule of law will lose its meaning and validity if only the weak, the poor and powerless are punished for their violations of the law.
“Countries succeed because the rule of law is evenly upheld and enforced. The war against corruption would go nowhere if the high and mighty are spared because of their influence and connections.”
“You can’t fight corruption by allowing impunity because the rule of law cannot function where impunity is tolerated.”
He pointed out that the conviction of Onnoghen would send a clear message that the dragnet against corruption would be “spread widely to hold public officials accountable, whether they are politicians, judges, civil servants or holding positions of public trust.”
The Centre For Anti-Coruption And Open Leadership (CACOL) has also hailed the decision of the CCT sacking the former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Onnoghen and barring him from holding public office for 10 years. CACOL also welcomes CCT’s decision ordering the forfeiture of funds in all the former CJN’s undeclared bank accounts to the Federal Government.
This was contained in a press release issued by CACOL’s Coordinator for Research and Documentation, Mr. Okechukwu Ndiribe on behalf of the Executive Chairman, Mr. Debo Adeniran.
The CACOL boss further stated that the CCT’s decision has proved that nobody is above the law in Nigeria no matter how highly placed.
According to him, “The CCT’s decision has also demonstrated that Nigeria is being governed in accordance with the rule of law as the long arm of the law must surely catch up with any breaker of the law even if the wheel of justice grinds slowly.”
“Our position has consistently been that the former CJN ought not to have stayed a day longer in office as he lost even the moral standing to continue to hold high office, the moment he admitted that he did not abide by the provisions of the law to declare all his assets, in line with his oath of office”.
“We are convinced that this judgment would serve as a deterrent to all other serving and former public officers that their day of reckoning would come for whatever misdemeanor they may have committed while in power”.