Reactions Trailing FG's Latest Action Against CJN Onnoghen

The Federal Government has ordered that restrictions be placed on five bank accounts belonging to the embattled Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen.

But the CUPP, the Nigerian Bar Association, a former NBA President, Olisa Agbakoba (SAN), Mike Ozekhome (SAN) and Chief Edward Ashiekaa (SAN) have faulted the AGF’s directive that the CJN’s accounts be frozen.

Agbakoba, speaking with The Punch on Wednesday, said the AGF could not validly rely on the Presidential Executive Order 6 because the charges the CJN was being tried for were about false assets declaration and not corruption.

He said, “It is not proper for the AGF to issue those directives because he is not being tried on corruption charges. He was charged with false declaration of assets.

“So, for me the AGF has exceeded his power to issue those directives. So I expect that lawyers, of course, will challenge it. The AGF cannot do that.”

Ozekhome said with this, the nation was heading towards full-blown dictatorship.

He said, “They showed their clear intentions when they filed simultaneously a motion that he should excuse himself as the CJN. Somehow, the plan backfired on the government because of the unanimous public uproar and rejection that greeted it and the tactical move of Onnoghen’s lawyers who refused him appearing physically in court.”

Speaking in the same vein, Ashiekaa noted that FG's action was politically motivated.

“You cannot separate what is happening at the CCT from the issue of the freezing of the CJN’s accounts by the AGF. There were claims that the President wasn’t aware. How on earth can you separate these two issues? The order to freeze the accounts was from the AGF who is a SAN and who was supposed to know better.

“He wants to drag the image of the judiciary through the mud because of politics. The judiciary, which is insulated from partisan politics, is now being dragged through the mud,” he added.

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