The Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), Prof. Itse Sagay SAN, has argued that the planned prosecution of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon. Justice Walter Onnoghen (JSC), shows that no one is above the law.
Sagay noted that although the prosecution of the CJN was saddening, it showed that Nigeria was slowly becoming a nation of laws.
The PACAC Chairman also referred to the recent arraignment of the President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mr. Paul Usoro SAN.
The PACAC chairman said, “It shows that in Nigeria, nobody is above the law.
“I do not rejoice, neither am I pleased that such high officials are being probed or investigated; but it shows that in Nigeria, the law is working and that the rule of law operates and that no one is higher than the law.
“That is the good aspect of it. Otherwise, I am not happy about it.
“But if the reason arises why they should be investigated or invited and they are invited, it shows that the Nigerian legal system is working and that the rule of law operates. But if it is you or I, you know that automatically, we will be indicted; but when the bigger guns in the country who have all the power are also being indicted, it means it is a good sign for the rule of law in Nigeria.”
When reminded of the fact that the CJN will be arraigned before Danladi Umar of the Code of Conduct Tribunal who has also been accused of corruption, Sagay said the Federal Government had no other option.
He said, “I see a point. It is a sad reflection on the state of corruption in Nigeria; but I think at the end of the day, everybody will come to justice and we will have a clean slate. This is the best we can do now.
“He (Umar) is the one on the seat, he has not been removed. So, there is no other choice as long as he is there.
“It is not perfect, but we must not miss the essential principle of this matter and that is that in Nigeria, the rule of law operates,” Sagay told the Punch. It will be recalled that the Code of Conduct Tribunal on Saturday confirmed that charges bordering on failure to declare assets and fraudulent declaration of assets had been filed against the CJN. The CJN is expected to be arraigned before the Tribunal on Monday.
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