Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has reacted to the prosecution of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, noting that he is sad about the situation.
He also said President Muhammadu Buhari did not know about the plan to arraign the CJN until Saturday evening. According to him, the President had always made clear that institutions should not be interfered with.
Osinbanjo said this on Wednesday at the opening of the Online Publishers Conference in Abuja. He added that he is sad about the turn of events and regrets the current situation where a senior member of his profession is subjected to such judicial process.
“I feel very sad that is going on at all.
“President Muhammadu Buhari, his whole approach is that institutions should just do their work. I can tell by fact that he did not know about this until Saturday evening.
“He did not know that there will be any kind of arraignment until Saturday evening. He has said categorically don’t interfere with what the institutions are doing. Sometimes it has consequences like we have today.
“My take is that I rather not have a situation where members of a profession are being tried for an offence. I don’t feel particularly good about it, as a matter of fact, I feel very sad about it, that is going on at all,” he said.
Justice Onnoghen is facing six charges bordering on failure to declare his assets and operating a domiciliary account, among other charges.
The charges against him are based on a petition signed by the executive secretary of the anti-corruption research data based initiative, Dennis Aghanya.
The petition alleges amongst others things that the CJN failed to declare ownership of sundry accounts funded through cash deposits made by himself up to August 10, 2016.