By Tochukwu Maxwell
The Youth Anti-corruption Network, YANET, has condemned the suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Addressing newsmen in Abuja, the Coordinator and President of YANET, Mr. Ovo Otarigho, said the president’s decision to suspend the Chief Justice of Nigeria threatens democracy as it is against the principle of separation of powers.
Otarigho commended the president’s desire to fight corruption, noting, however, that things must be done according to the law and with due process.
According to him, non-conformity with due process alone amounts to corruption on its own and must be resisted.
He said, “This action alone if not changed makes mockery of the fight against corruption in Nigeria.
“As it stands, our democracy is under attack, the Judiciary is on the frontline, we the civil society will build trenches and we call on the general public to live up to their civic duties in defence of our democracy.”
Furthermore, he also stated that the fight against corruption must be total and nobody guilty of corrupt practices should be forgiven simply because they have decamped to the ruling party.
“The case of corruption against the Kano state governor is currently being swept under the carpet while the reporter who exposed the case is being victimized,” he lamented.
However, he chided Onnoghen for flouting the law, while he called on the agencies concerned to investigate and prosecute the Justice. He said,
“The judge must not be corrupt, a judge must not be partial, even as innocent omission or ignorance remains inexcusable in the eyes of the law.”
He further called for thorough investigation of the facts behind Onoghen and his finances, and if found guilty, he should be subjected to the prosecutorial dictates of the laws.
“But until then, he is presumed innocent according to Section 36(5) of the 1999 Constitution as amended until proven guilty and through proper procedure,” he noted.
Otarigho also urged the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to play a truly independent role in the conduct of the election and must not be seen favouring any party.
“INEC must remember that the commission was being funded by our common wealth, from the common purse of our nation and as such, INEC allegiance must be to the citizens of Nigeria and not individuals or political parties or candidates,” Otarigho stated.
He also stated that the YANET is worried at the level of vote buying syndrome, and called on all citizens to vote in the right candidates to avoid corrupt people taking leadership position.
Source Vanguard Nigeria