Protesters on Monday paralyzed commercial activities in Lagos State in support of President Muhammdu Buhari’s decision to suspend the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen.
The protesters, who carried placards with various inscriptions, declared that Onnoghen lacks moral standing to remain in office as CJN.
Comrade Festus Akintola, Convener of the protest, said Justice must take its full course to serve as a deterrent to others that it is no longer business as usual.
He said, “We have all gathered here to express our disgust with the actions of some segment of the country that have viewed the action of the president in placing the Chief Justice of Nigeria on suspension for false declaration of assets in contravention of the Code of Conduct Bureau Act for public office holders in the country.
“Nigeria is not a country where anyone should be viewed as above the law as the law is no respecter of persons. And what an irony that the chief law officer of the country would violate the law and would still want to evade justice. If that should ever happen, then Nigeria is no longer a country but a banana republic.
“We stand in absolute solidarity with our dear and amiable president who has risen in defense of the country by suspending the Chief Justice of the country and thereby sending a strong message to all that no matter how highly placed, once you violate the law, there would be consequences.
“We are also at a loss as to what case or position some people to want to canvass in a situation as glaring as this. Are they trying to deny the fact that the Chief Justice of Nigeria did not commit any offense? Are they trying to say that the president didn’t do the right thing by asking the Chief Justice to proceed on suspension pending the determination of the suit before the Code of Conduct Tribunal?
“We wish to state that it amounts to moral bankruptcy for the Chief Justice to cite “forgetfulness” as the reason for not declaring a part of his estate. And we now wonder how someone of such high standing would think he can take over 180 million Nigerians for a ride.
“And quite ironically some ethnic and religious champions have taken turns to give the actions of the president all manners of ethnic and religious coloration at the detriment of the fact of the matter.
“But they shall be all put to shame because the majority of Nigerians are with the president and supports wholeheartedly the action of the president in the quest to rid the judiciary of corrupt elements such as the suspended Chief Justice.
“In Nigeria today, under the watch of President Muhammadu Buhari, we have indeed seen how and what it takes to fight the cancerous corruption. That is what President Muhammadu Buhari has displayed in the bold action of his.
“We are all gathered here despite our busy schedules to show solidarity to the man of the people. The man who has the interest of the country at heart. The man who has dared the path where no one dares venture. The man that has an unshaken belief in the unity of Nigeria. The man who says a yes and it is a yes. A man who would not dip his hands in government coffers and a man who has shown us what it takes to have integrity in a country like ours.
“The case of the Chief Justice of Nigeria presents us with one of such instances in which our president has risen in defense of the country.
“And it takes more than a commitment and belief in the national development agenda for such actions to protect the people from dubious and corrupt minded individuals such as the suspended Chief Justice Walter Onnoghnen.
“We are angry at the audacity if Justice Walter Onnoghnen to insult our intelligence as a people by wanting to whip up ethnic and religious sentiments through paid political jobbers.
“If Justice Walter Onnoghen has any atom of morals as the Chief Justice of the country, the rational thing for him to have done was to honorably resign from office to save the judicial arm of the country the shame and denigration that has it brought upon us.
“So bad is this case that Nigeria has become a laughing stock among countries. And the ethnic champions do not see anything wrong with it the shame Justice Walter Onnoghen has brought upon our country.
“We support President Muhammadu Buhari wholeheartedly in the fight against corruption in the judiciary. We are consequently of the firm opinion that if the judiciary is not sanitized, then we might be in for considerable trouble.”