The Presidential Candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar has reacted to the planned removal of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen.
Recall that the Federal Government had earlier announced it will on Monday arraign the the CJN on charges of non-declaration before the Code of Conduct Tribunal in Abuja.
The charges were based on fraudulent declaration of assets, and the trial is set to begin on January 14, 2019.
Mr Ibraheem Al-Hassan, the tribunal’s Head, Press and Public Relations, said this in a statement on Saturday in Abuja.
However, Atiku while reacting to development warned President Muhammadu Buhari led All Progressive Congress government not to throw Nigeria into what he described as avoidable crisis.
According to him, the President’s desperation to sack Justice Onnoghen was not unconnected with the role that the judiciary plays in the final outcome of elections having known he faces imminent defeat in the February 16, election.
Atiku in a statement issued in Abuja on Saturday by Atiku’s Special Assistant on Public Communication, Mr. Phrank Shaibu, reminded the President that the principle of separation of powers remains sacrosanct in a democracy irrespective.
He said, “We have just been made aware of the plot by President Muhammadu Buhari the All Progressives Congress (APC) to sack Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen using flimsy assets declaration issues as a pretext.
“We are aware that there are plans to arraign Justice Onnoghen before the Justice Danladi Yakubu Umar led-Code of Conduct Tribunal on Monday, January 14, 2019.
“The charge against Onnoghen, we understand has already been filed and served on him last Friday at his official residence in Abuja preparatory to his appearance at the Tribunal.
”But we warn that despite the clandestine meetings in the highest echelon of the APC and also involving some top officials of the federal government which include the Code of Conduct Tribunal, neither Buhari nor the APC can re-write the Nigerian Constitution just because of its impending defeat at the February 16, presidential election.
“Heavens did not fall when PDP lost to the APC in 2015. And heavens will not fall now that the APC is sure to lose to the PDP, seeing that the APC’s plan to rig in the forthcoming elections will not pull through.”