Former Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Walter Onnoghen has opened up why he was removed from office by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Onnoghen was removed from office by the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, after Buhari’s government accused him of fraud in the build up to the 2019 presidential election.
On Friday, he said he was removed from office based on rumor that he held meeting with former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar in Dubai before the election.
He spoke in Abuja at the public presentation of a book titled: “Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules, 2009: Practice, procedure, forms and precedents,” authored by Ogwu James Onoja (SAN).
Onnoghen said he was disappointed that Buhari failed to verify the rumor before descending the hammer on him, instigating the CCT to remove him from office.
He said although the rumor was brought to his attention before his removal, he chose not to address it because he never met with Atiku in Dubai and has never encountered the ex-Vice President in person all his life.
The former CJN faulted his trial process before the CCT, lamenting that his trial before the CCT was put in motion even when he had not been invited or accused of any wrongdoing.
He said in the course of the trial, and when parties had joined issues, an ex-parte application was suddenly brought in, and “what followed was my illegal and unlawful suspension as the CJN.”