The Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, and the National Chairman of the party, Uche Secondus, have expressed concern over the charges filed against the Chief Justice of Nigeria.
In a statement entitled ‘A Clarion Call In Defence Of Our Constitution’, Atiku said he received the news “apprehension and suspicion, especially as such a move against the head of an arm of our government is coming so close to an election in preparation of which the Buhari administration has shown growing desperation”.
The PDP presidential candidate added that he is particularly worried that the Federal Government is pressuring an independent and self-governing arm of government with the aim of getting the CJN to resign or be pushed aside.
He is, however, not against a fair trial for accused persons.
“I stand on the side of the rule of law and believe that a person is innocent until proven guilty. If Justice Walter Onnoghen is guilty of the charges about to be preferred against him, let his guilt be determined by a competent court of law and not by the Buhari administration,” Atiku said.
He added, “The executive cannot usurp the role of the judiciary. Nigeria is still a democracy and not a fascist dictatorship as President Buhari may wish. Any attempt to force Justice Walter Onnoghen to vacate his office, four weeks to an election for which the unpopular Buhari administration has shown every intention to manipulate, is a move pregnant with negative meaning.”
On his part, the PDP National Chairman, Uche Secondus, accused the executive of trying to destroy the judiciary.
“They started with the politicians and they moved on to the legislature. In fact, you are aware that there was a coup de tat at the National Assembly; that one failed. Now, their target is the destroy the judiciary, the last hope of the common man,” he said at a rally for Atiku in Jos on Saturday.