CJN Trial: APC Insists Law Must Run Its Course


*Accuses PDP of colluding with corrupt judicial officers

Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has said that the trial of Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, over improper assets declaration by the Code of Conduct Bureau must be allowed to run its course.

Against the background of criticisms trailing the trial of Onnoghen, APC said the Peoples Democratic Party had shown affinity with a section of the judiciary linked with corrupt acts.

The party also accused the main opposition party, some members of the bench and their civil society allies of pushing the ethnic and religious card in relation to the trial of Chief Justice of Nigeria.

APC said it believes in due process, adding that the law must run its course.
Speaking during a press conference on Monday, the APC’s National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Isa-Onilu, said that its fears that the PDP had been colluding with a section of the judiciary was confirmed by the call by the PDP’s South South Governors on the CJN to boycott the CCT trial.

He said the party believes that even if there were any error committed in the prosecution of the CJN, the system should be allowed to correct itself by letting the law run its course.

“The CCT trial is a legal matter, let the law run its course. The CJN must go through the instrumentalities of the courts, ” he said.
Onilu said that there was really no aspect of the law that prevents judicial officers from being arrested or investigated.

According to APC spokesman, the ruling party is concerned about attempts to politicise the CJN trial and to input ethnic and religious motives.
“We have also noticed the very dangerous 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. This is an ungodly ploy when we consider that the CJN was an officer of the federation rather than that of any region.

“The likely affinity existing between the PDP and a section of the judiciary is further accentuated by the nonappearance of Justice Onnoghen before the Code of Conduct Tribunal on Monday in line with the suggestions made by the PDP governors from the South South on Sunday,” he said.
Speaking on what he referred to as sponsored conspiracies about the CCT trial, Onilu said that PDP had exhibited innate proclivity to defend cases of corruption anytime it arises.

“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,” said APC spokesman.