In what appears one of the first major dissenting position, Comrade Mashood Erubami, the President, Nigeria Voters Assembly does not see an infringement on any core principle for the trial on the planned trial of the Chief Justice of the Federation
Comrade Mashood Erubami
It now appears that the Bar is becoming the perennial blockage to the anti- corruption revolution going on in Nigeria. Unless and until the President steps on the toes and crushes the legs of any legal personalities that are standing against his war against corruption, nothing will be achieved.
In the fight against corruption, nobody should be above the law and that is why in other sane countries, highly placed judicial officers, Prime Ministers and Presidents have been prosecuted, found guilty and sentenced to appropriate imprisonment.
It is unthinkable that law luminaries and Senior Advocates will rise against the prosecution of the CJN in Nigeria when there are very clear evidence against him that call for prosecution. The facts against the position of the Bar and these luminaries are that the Petition against the Chief Justice was written by a lawyer who is not unaware of the role of the NJC which should firstly investigate and resolve this matter, the dispensation of such cases against judicial officers, when the case is taken before the appropriate Tribunal, (CCT) in the face of the NJC seemingly being ambivalent.
The case should be clearly in order and in consonant with the law. If anything, the act of the accused is more denigrating than the prosecution, the Nigeria public who are the victims of any corruption will see the Bar and the Bench as being guilty of collusion, if they keep quiet in the face of this allegations when the Bank mentioned never denied the ownership of the Account, the balances extended on the accounts, Euro, and Pound sterling domiciliary and Naira accounts that have been diligently investigated and ascertained before the charge sheets are raised.
That a Senior legal officer fails to ” fully declare his assets is an unpardonable misdemeanor that must not only be put in the front burner of public discourse and Justice but taken before an incorruptible Tribunal Judge to adjudicate over. The Petition was not targeted against the judiciary, and cannot make a dent to the Judiciary, but the act of corruption is, but for obvious reasons of NJC leadership, which has refused to let the Petition see the light of the day. The petition contains third party allegations which can be taken through the CCT since the NJC seems to have been indifferent to the grave allegations contained in the petition.
The judicial pronouncement from the CCT is not about the removal of the CJN but only about his culpability if found to be otherwise guilty of the offences, hence it is not contemptuous and denigrating. The case was taken before the CCT not for the removal of the CJN but to try him against definite allegations investigated against him to which he is expected to provide very strong defence. This is what should be done where the NJC refused to perform its role as explained in the Court of Appeal decision being ceaselessly quoted in Nganjiwa v Federal Republic of Nigeria (2017) LPELR-43391(CA) “ which truly have not been up turned by a higher Court.
The above precedent is derogated, if the NJC is quite aware and is seized of all the facts but still refuse to treat the case as its own foremost and still fail to act to carry out investigation and pronounce appropriately, the prosecuting agencies of the Federal Government can proceed against him.
The Judicial arm of government is the last hope of the common and vulnerable Nigerians, it must not only be responsible but also credible and above board. In this regards, Nigerians will not expect any gang-up that will not allow for the case to be treated appropriately. The case of Senator Saraki which the Bar still see as a political act against him, when we are both Victims of the money that will be lost, is still very fresh in the minds of the people and if allowed to be treated in the same way, it will be counted again, against the Judicial processes.
It is unethical to use the law and the position one occupies to hide, and commit corruption and plead justification under the same law, not accepting the allegation against him but use the process of the NJC not being the first to try him as a proper excuse to secure acquittal.