The senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, Garba Shehu, has described the Code of Conduct Tribunal’s (CCT) judgment on the embattled Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen’s asset declaration case as a major victory for President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption war.
Onnoghen was on Thursday found guilty of false declaration of assets in breach of the provisions of the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) for public officials by the CCT.
The Tribunal removed him from the office as Chief Justice of Nigeria and Chairman of National Judicial Council (NJC) and also banned him from taking any public office until a period of ten years.
Reacting, Shehu, in a statement explained that the outcome of the trial demonstrated clearly that “the law is no respecter of persons, titles, social or political connections.”
According to him, Onnoghen’s conviction would send a clear message that the dragnet against corruption would be ”spread widely to hold public officials accountable, whether they are politicians, judges, civil servants or holding positions of public trust.”
He said: “The rule of law will lose its meaning and validity if only the weak, the poor and powerless are punished for their violations of the law.
”Countries succeed because the rule of law is evenly upheld and enforced. The war against corruption would go nowhere if the high and mighty are spared because of their influence and connections.
”You can’t fight corruption by allowing impunity because the rule of law cannot function where impunity is tolerated.”