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Judiciary not to blame for loss of Corruption cases – Justice Walter On­noghen

by on April 12, 2017
 
The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter On­noghen, has said the recent string of court losses suffered by the prosecution in high-profile corruption cases since his substantive appoint­ment last month, is neither the fault of the judiciary nor an indication that the anti-corruption campaign is los­ing steam.
He barred his mind yester­day at the State House, Abuja after he visited to welcome President Muhammadu Bu­hari from his medical leave in London and to thank him for appointing him CJN.
Speaking to journalists afterwards, Onnoghen said the government’s war against corruption did not come up in his discussions with Bu­hari, but pointed out that the government agencies have the chance to appeal the court judgements, so no momen­tum has been lost.
“You take that as losing steam? If there was steam, then it wouldn’t have been without the participation of the Judiciary. So, if there is losing of steam, you should not equally relate it only to the judiciary. The fight against corruption has lost no steam. It is not correct.
“Now, you should know one thing: two people will always have a quarrel. They may three or four or one hundred. All the parties to that quarrel will always have different stories to tell.
“By the way, our system is fashioned and designed and operated, when you go to a court of law, you cannot have a drawn game. There must be a winner and there must be a loser. In our system, a loser has the chance of appealing to the highest court eventually.
“So, you cannot say be­cause the government or any agency has lost a case in the high court, you have lost a case and the fight is losing steam. You should realise that there is a constitution in place and under the constitution, there is a rule of law.
“Every system under a constitutional arrangement operated under the rule of law must have these things as checks and balances to pro­tect everyone. It is for every­one”, he stated.
Also, reacting to specu­lation of a judicial gang up against the Executive arm, the CJN said “I am not going to speculate. I am a lawyer and judicial officer. I operate on facts and the law.
“So, I can’t answer that question because I am not on everybody’s mind. You are free to think whatever you want to think but I think you should be guided by facts and the law when it comes to judi­cial performance or discharge of judicial responsibilities.”

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  • akin sodimu
    April 12, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    In my own humble submission, I think what the CJN is trying to make the public understand is this, it seems from his explanation that many of these corruption cases are still at the preliminary stages, and as such it could probably get to the Supreme Court for final judgement. A game of football does not end in 30, 60,or 80 minutes. It ends up at exactly 90 minutes.

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