Kaduna state governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has described suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, as a shameless man for refusing to resign from office despite owning up to the charges of non-declaration of assets after he assumed office in March 2017.
The governor said this when he received members of the Coalition of Civil Society Organisations that staged a protest against the suspended CJN in front of the state government house in Kaduna on Friday, February 1st.
The governor while receiving the protesters, said with just over 20 years in public service, Justice Onnoghen possibly has more money than Aliko Dangote, the richest man in Africa. According to Governor El-Rufai, even Dangote cannot forget one million dollars in his bank account.
“The case of Justice Onnoghen is the case in which somebody who has worked in government for past 20 years suddenly has millions of dollars in his account. He has admitted but says he has forgotten about them. I want to express happiness to all of you for coming together to convey this very clear statement from the people of Kaduna State that in Kaduna we do not support corruption, in Kaduna we do not support injustice, in Kaduna State, we are 100 per cent behind the integrity of our president. I can assure you that the message you have given to me will be delivered to the president today. The case with Justice Onnoghen is a very sad one. Othman Dan Fodio, the founder of the Sokoto Caliphate, wrote that the worst form of corruption you can find in any public service is judicial corruption.
“This is because when the president is corrupt or the governor is corrupt, it is to the judge that ordinary people can take their case to. When the judge himself is corrupt, it is the highest form of corruption and must never be condoned.
“The president did the right thing by asking him to step aside pending an investigation. It is the proper thing to do. It is what is done in every organised and civilised society. Unfortunately, some people in Nigeria are trying to make white black and black white. They are using technicalities to delay bringing this man to Justice. Mr President did not remove Onnoghen from office. He said in honour of the Judiciary, he should step aside so that the charges against him can be investigated and prosecuted. But the man is shameless; he does not want to go but it is time for Nigerians to come all out and tell him he must go. Our judiciary must be clean. Our judiciary must consist of judges who cannot be bought,” the governor said.