Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has revealed that President Muhammadu Buhari was ignorant of events that led to the arraignment of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen on Monday.
Recall that Onnoghen was arraigned before the Code of Conduct Tribunal on Monday for allegations bothering on asset declaration.
Osinbajo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, while expressing dissatisfaction over the development, said Buhari was never aware of the letter to appear before the CCT served to the CJN neither was he aware of his (Onnoghen’s) Monday’s arraignment until Saturday evening.
Osinbajo gave this clarification on Wednesday while speaking in Abuja at the third Online Publishers Association of Nigeria (OPAN) conference.
He explained that Buhari had always warned against any form of interference in duties of institutions.
He said, “I feel very sad that it’s going on at all,” the vice-president said.
“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,” the vice-president said.
“He did not know that there will be any kind of arraignment till 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 profession are being tried for an offence. I don’t feel good about it, as a matter of fact, I feel very sad about it, that is going on at all. But that is my position on it but I want to say that this is the way it works.”
He noted that Chairman of the CCB, although new, had received “specific instructions” on how to handle the case before him
“In the case of the Code of Conduct Bureau chairman, where these things are reported to, he is new, he is barely three weeks on the job but the specific instruction is that if you receive a petition, however it is [you have to] go through the process,” Osinbajo said.
He advised online publishers to seek facts before going to the press.