The Presidency has lauded the conviction of Walter Onnoghen, the former Chief Justice of Nigeria, over the false declaration of assets to the government, describing it as “a major victory for the anti-corruption policy of the Buhari administration.”
In a statement issued to journalists hours after the Danladi Umar-led Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) pronounced Justice Onnoghen guilty of all the six charges preferred against him, the Presidency said the outcome of the trial “demonstrates clearly that the law is no respecter of persons, titles, social or political connections.”
Read Also: CCT Convicts Onnoghen Of False Asset Declaration, Sacks Him As CJN
It, however, stressed that the essence of the rule of law is to hold everyone accountable equally before the law, regardless of their high or law status in the society, and defended the war against corruption, insisting it is all encompassing and is not designed to persecute anyone for political or other reasons.
The statement read: “The rule of law would lose its meaning and validity if only the weak, the poor and powerless are punished for their violations of the law. Countries succeed because the rule of law is evenly upheld and enforced.”
“The war against corruption would go nowhere if the high and mighty are spared because of their influence and connections. You can’t fight corruption by allowing impunity because the rule of law cannot function where impunity is tolerated.”
The Presidency further stated that “the conviction of Justice Onnoghen should send a clear message that the dragnet against corruption will be spread widely to hold public officials accountable, whether they are politicians, Judges, civil servants or holding positions of public trust.”