Walter Onnoghen, the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, resigned from his position because his fate “had been pre-determined by the cabal”, Mike Ozekhome, a senior lawyer has alleged.
Justice Onnoghen, who was suspended by President Buhari for alleged false declaration of assets, tendered his resignation letter on Thursday evening, according to TheCable.
Read Also: Onnoghen’s Resignation: I’m Not Sure If Buhari Has Been Notified, Says Adesina
However, Ozekhome, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), said the resignation was imminent, alleging that a cabal “went for his jugular” by using various bodies of the judiciary to rubbish the country’s top jurist.
He, however, did not identify the members of the so-called cabal.
“I knew it would come sooner than later. When Justice Walter Onnoghen’s travails started in January, I predicted that the cabal was out to rubbish him. They desired to bespatter him with the paintbrush of shame, odium and obloquy in such a way as to make him visibly unfit for the position of the CJN. They went after his jugular, using the CCB/CCT,” Ozekhome wrote in a piece.
“The CCT was unrelenting: it discarded its earlier precedents; ignored court rulings barring it from trying Onnoghen. It was the case of the falcon not hearing the falconer.
“The Court of Appeal became complicit. It refused to deliver judgments in Onnoghen’s cases argued before it over six weeks ago. Nigerians watched Onnoghen being mob-lynched. Onnoghen was tried in the media, criminalized, humiliated.
“So, Onnoghen, faced with the reality of the situation, knew that his faith had been pre-determined by the cabal, signed, sealed and delivered.”
The senior lawyer also questioned the veracity of the recommendations of the National Judicial Council (NJC) against Justice Onnoghen.
Read Also: Onnoghen Submits Resignation Letter As CJN – Report
According to Ozekhome, the judicial council hastily reached a conclusion on the petitions filed before it by several entities, including the Economic and Financial Commission (EFCC), without properly examining what he described as “mere unproven allegations” against the suspended CJN.
He also stated that the NJC contradicted itself by making a conclusion and suggesting recommendations on a case that it had earlier described as sub judice.
“Otherwise, how can NJC hold that it decided not to delve into the allegations, relating to assets declaration levelled against Onnoghen because they were subjudice, yet convicted him on the petitions written by EFCC and others, when the said petitions remained in the realm of mere unproven allegations?” Ozekhome queried.
Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, on Friday said he could not confirm if Justice Onnoghen’s resignation letter has been by President Buhari.
The suspended CJN is facing a six-count charge at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) after been accused by the Federal Government of allegedly failing to declare his assets, including three domiciliary accounts and two Naira-denominated bank accounts.
Justice Onnoghen has denied all the charges preferred against him.