Femi Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and Human Rights Activist, has said that both the Executive and the Judiciary arms of government have failed Nigerians with regards to the case of Justice Walter Onnoghen.
Falana who was a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today said this is a most trying period for the Judiciary of Nigeria.
The SAN said it was wrong for President Muhammadu Buhari to have suspended Justice Onnoghen based on an ex parte order of the code of conduct tribunal.
He said by so doing the President did not follow due process, stressing that the government must learn to respect due process.
“You can’t fight corruption without following due process,” Falana said.
He argued that “The power to suspend a sitting Judge in Nigeria, including the Chief Justice, has to be on the recommendation of the NJC.”
He also noted that the procedure for dealing with a criminal case is as important as the trial itself.
Adding that “A government can never be in a hurry or allowed to engage in jungle justice for self-help”.
Falana also argued that the Court of Appeal cannot make an order restraining the CCT from performing what belongs to it exclusively.
He said that the manner in which the executive has gone about Onnoghen’s case is wrong, but also argued that the defence put up by the advocates of the Chief Justice do not meet the standard requirements of the law.
Falana also asked Justice Walter Onnoghen to quit the bench, after the President has lifted the suspension of the Chief Justice.
He said, “The government should as a matter of urgency, lift the suspension on the Chief Justice since the Chief Justice as so much to on his own admitted that he did not declare his assets, he should do the needful by calling it quits”.
Falana said after the suspension has been lifted, the Chief Justice should quit the bench because he has already admitted that he failed in his duty to declare his asset as required by the constitution.