Why Onnoghen should have just resigned – el-Rufai

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PIC 3. Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen taking oath of office before the Acting President Yemi Osinbajo.

Kaduna state governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has said that it would have been better for the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen to resign before the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, ever filed a suit.

This was made known by the governor, while speaking on Channels Television Programme, “Sunrise”. The governor said that is what he would have done, if he were in Onnoghen’s shoes.

He also noted that ”All the arguments being made that the allegations against the CJN should first go to the National Judicial Council (NJC) are wrong.

“I presented a paper at the Bisi Akande Colloquium on restructuring. I believe that we should look at our federation. Constitutional restructuring is one thing, restructuring our minds to be objective about what is right is another.

“I am extremely sad about this Chief Justice matter; if I am the Chief Justice, I will write and say, ‘yes I have these bank accounts but I did not declare them’, I will not even allow the CCB to file charges, I will resign there and then to protect the institution.

“The admission that I did not declare my assets, that infraction alone, is enough for him to step down and protect the institution. All these court orders and lawyers are not helping the judiciary or the legal practice and are not helping Nigeria.”

On whether it was right for President Muhammadu Buhari to have no knowledge about the prosecution the CJN – el -Rufai defended he President saying:

“Why should the President know about the prosecution of anyone? Let us please stop personalising institutions. Won’t you be worried if the President is worried about prosecution? Institutions should be allowed to function.

“I am the governor of Kaduna State. The constitution requires that I declare my assets before being sworn in. Also, the constitution states this specifically, in plain language. This is not law; we don’t need law to tell us this.

“I don’t have to know if the Attorney-General of Kaduna State goes and murder or rape someone, and the police arrest him; I don’t need to know. They should charge him to court. Institutions should be allowed to work, and we should stand up to protect the integrity of institutions.

“Saying that the President doesn’t know, I think it is a compliment to the president; it shows that he does not interfere with institutions and doesn’t get involved in it.

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