The All Progressives Congress (APC) has insisted that Walter Onnoghen, chief justice of Nigeria (CJN), must face trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).
In a statement, Lanre Issa-Onilu, national publicity secretary of the APC, attempt by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to designate the CJN’s trials along ethnic and religious lines would do the country no good.
Issa-Onilu said the opposition party has been criticising an issue that should be left for the court to resolve.
“Following the notice of the charges preferred against the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, by the Code of Conduct Bureau at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, the Peoples Democratic Party has been on overdrive vituperating over an issue that should at best be left to the judiciary to resolve,” the statement read.
“We noticed the attempt to designate the CJN’s arraignment along ethnic and religious lines, thereby trying to heat up the polity by evoking primordial sentiment which would do the country no good.
“We therefore urge all Nigerians of good conscience to caution the PDP as the country is bigger than any political party or the interest it represents, and nothing should stop the country’s steady march into sustainable democratic governance.
“The call by the PDP’s South South Governors for the CJN’s boycott of the CCT trial further cements our position. Let it be reiterated that nobody no matter how highly placed should be above the laws of the land.
“We wish to put on record that the virulent attack that has come from the PDP in the wake of the trial of the CJN over alleged false asset declaration is particularly worrisome and suspicious when the PDP has in fact called for the removal of virtually all heads of government’s arms, particularly the Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Inspector General of the Police over frivolous issues.
“While we will not be drawn into debates on the legality and sponsored conspiracies of the CCT trial, we insist that our democratic and constitutional institutions must be allowed to operate without interference and undue pressure from partisan and sundry interests as being done by the PDP and its cronies.
“The CCT trial is a legal matter, let the law run its course. The CJN must go through the instrumentalities of the courts, more importantly as an institution he represents. Indeed, this is the true test of our constitution, rule of law and will deepen democracy.”