The Supreme Court has said its justices remain “united, cohesive and indivisible” despite the purported resignation of Walter Onnoghen, the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria.
The apex court statement said this in a statement issued by Festus Akande, its Director of Press and Information, on Monday in reaction to a report entitled: “Onnoghen’s Exit Splits Supreme Court,” which was published by a newspaper on Sunday.
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Justice Onnoghen was reported to have resigned as the country’s top jurist on Thursday following the recommendation of the National Judicial Council (NJC) – the disciplinary body for judicial officers- to President Muhammadu Buhari to retire him from the bench.
The resignation, however, was said to have brought up a lot of arguments and divisions among the apex court justices, according to the report by the newspaper.
But according to the statement issued by the court, the report remains false as its judicial officials continuously steer clear of any parochial sentiments in the administration of their official responsibilities.
The statement read: “Our attention has been drawn to a publication with the title, ‘Onnoghen’s Exit Splits Supreme Court,’ on page four of Sunday Tribune of April 7, 2019.
“It is necessary to state categorically clear that the publication is false and misleading in its entirety.
“There is no iota of truth in the story, as every word in it only exists in the realm of rumour and mischief.
“The Supreme Court of Nigeria is one big, indivisible judicial family that is not in any way governed by religious, tribal or parochial influence or sentiments.”
Read Also: Buhari Suspends Justice Onnoghen, Appoints Acting CJN
The apex court, headed by Tanko Muhammed, the acting CJN, reiterated that no judicial officer is appointed or performs his or her responsibility along religious or tribal inclination.
The statement insisted that “judicial oath taken by all the justices of the Court has already initiated a potent sacred bond to regulate and conscientise the conducts of their Lordships in the discharge of their Judicial functions.”
“For the umpteenth time, let it be known to all and sundry that no judicial officer is appointed on account of religious or tribal affiliation, as such, the discharge of their Judicial obligations cannot be dictated by such extraneous considerations.
“As it has always been, the Supreme Court justices and the entire management are united, cohesive and indivisible in the quest to move the Court to an enviable height,” the statement read.
The court asked members of the public to always crosscheck their information using the Freedom of Information Act rather than publicly exhibit their ignorance.