The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused the Presidency of plotting to remove the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, in a bid to allegedly install a chief justice that will help the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) rig the 2019 elections.
The PDP stated this against the backdrop of the charges of corruption leveled against Justice Onnoghen by the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB).
THE WHISTLER had reported that following a petition of alleged false assets declaration leveled against Onnoghen by a group, the Anti-corruption and Research based Data Initiative, the CCB pressed some corruption charges against the Chief Justice before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).
Consequently, the CJN is set to be arraigned on the corruption charges before the CCT on Monday, January 14.
Reacting however to the move, the PDP alleged that the Presidency is plotting to “destabilize and annex the Judiciary ahead of the 2019 general elections.”
Speaking in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary on Saturday, the opposition party said “the All Progressives Congress (APC) and cabal at the Buhari Presidency are hounding Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Justice Walter Onnoghen and seeking his removal so as to cause a constitutional crisis, instill fear in judicial officers and pave way for the foisting of a pliable CJN that will do their bidding on electoral matters.
“This is particularly following allegations that the APC seeks a new CJN that will aid its rigging schemes as well as execute the plot to use the court to detain and put opposition members and outspoken members of Civil Society Organizations out of circulation during the general elections.
“This development is a clear recipe for anarchy and a huge crisis that is capable of fracturing our justice system and derail our democracy as it portends a prelude to a total clamp down on institutions of democracy and rule of law in our country.
“The PDP therefore urges all Nigerians, the United Nations and all international bodies to unite in the defence of our democracy, especially at this very critical time in our political development.
“Moreover, if President Buhari is committed to cleaning up the system as he claims, we challenge him to allow the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, whose tenure has expired and who had also been rejected by Nigerians due to his manifest partisanship, to go.
“President Buhari should also ask Amina Zakari to recuse herself from INEC following her rejection by Nigerians over issues of impropriety in her appointment as Chairperson of the Presidential election collation committee.
“Furthermore, we challenge Mr. President to also commence plans for the immediate prosecution of members of his campaign organization, including his co-Chairman, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and the factional National Chairman of his APC, Adams Oshiomhole over allegations of corruption against them.
“Finally, the PDP counsels the APC to note that it has been rejected by Nigerians and as such should end all its actions and schemes that overheat the polity and place our nation on the precipice,” said the party.