Ada Adesomoju, Abuja
The recent chief judge of Nigeria, Judge Walter Onnoghen, expressed surprise at how he was suddenly told he had been removed from office without doing anything wrong.
He did not name the characters involved in the drama.
Onnoghen said no one told him anything about his offense when he was told he had been removed.
Onnoghen, who turned 70 on Tuesday, the scheduled day of retirement to be fully in the function of the CJN and a judicial career, spoke at a birthday dinner held at his home in Asokoro, Abuja.
Acting on a controversial ex parte order issued by the Code of Conduct Tribunal, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), suspended Onnoghen as CJN on January 26, 2019 and replaced him with the former CJN, lawyer Tank Muhammad, then acting ability.
Onnoghen never returned to office until the CCT convicted him and he voluntarily resigned in April 2019.
“How can you just wake up one morning and they say you’ve been removed from office. No one is ready to tell you anything, all they just said was resign, resign.
“What did I do?”
Onnoghen, who praised his legal team that defended him during the ordeal, claimed that he lived properly during his career as a judicial police officer.
“You didn’t have to know my wife, my children or anyone close to me to get justice,” he said.
He said that within two years after sitting, he brought many innovations and reforms, but which were “abandoned”.
Former Supreme Court Justice, Judge Kumai Akaahs, Chief Justice of the State of Borno, Judge Kashim Zannah, President of the Nigerian Bar Association and many other dignitaries paid tribute to him at his 70th birthday dinner on Tuesday.
The event was also attended by Onnoghen’s predecessor, Justice Mahmoud Mohammed (retd), who came in the middle of the program and left when it was due to end.
Chief Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN) and chief Rafiu Lawal-Rabana (SAN), who led the legal team defending Onnoghen both at the Code of Conduct Tribunal and at the National Judicial Council at the twilight of his abruptly ended career, also hailed the former CJN as a man’s integrity.
Judge Akaahs, who was a Supreme Court judge under Onnoghen as the CJN, said that the things that were said about Onnoghen during his ordeal were fabrications.
He said, “I dare say that history will be the main judge. I greet him at the club because he is my younger brother even though I worked under him. “
Chief Justice of the State of Borno, Judge Zannah, who also worked under Onnoghen as a member of the NJC, described the former CJN as a great man, an honest and open person.
Lawal-Rabanna, who led the defense team of the former CJN at the NJC, said: “We all stand before you to believe in him because we have seen him as a man of integrity. We saw him as a man who believed in principle. Therefore, to date, the NJC report has not come out because they have not found anything. “
The president of the NBA league, Apkata, said that the umbrella body of the lawyer is still extremely proud of Onnoghen.
He said, “The NBA will continue to be extremely proud of you. We appreciate you with great respect. ”
He instructed Onnoghen to tell his story by writing a book.
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