Report has it that suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, has resigned voluntarily.
Onnoghen was suspended from office by President Muhammadu Buhari on January 25 following his failure to declare some of his assets.
His resignation letter was reportedly sent to President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday night.
Earlier, the National Judicial Council (NJC) had allegedly recommended Onnoghen’s compulsory retirement in its investigation report which was sent to President Buhari.
Onnoghen’s purported resignation is not yet public, but his lead defence counsel, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), confirmed that he had resigned.
“I have just spoken with him. He confirmed to me that he resigned voluntarily yesterday (Thursday). He told me he resigned in the interest of the judiciary,” Awomolo said.
“He took a decision after the NJC which has the power under the Constitution to take a decision, has taken a decision,” he added.
Also, the suspended CJN’s defence at the NJC, Rafiu Lawal-Rabana (SAN), confirmed that he had resigned.
“The man has voluntarily retired. Although I have not seen him or spoken with him, it is confirmed that he has voluntarily resigned,” Lawal-Rabana said.
He however alleged that Onnoghen’s resignation had nothing to do with the recommendation of the NJC, although he noted that he had not yet seen the NJC report.
“No, It does not have to do with it. Up till now we don’t have the report.” the lawyer said speaking about the NJC report.
PDP says Buhari-led FG frustrated Onnoghen
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in its reaction to the development said that the Federal Government had frustrated Onnoghen to the point where he had to resign.
Diran Odeyemi, the PDP Deputy National Publicity Secretary, stated this following news of Onnoghen’s alleged resignation.
“It is a pity that the FG has frustrated Justice Onnoghen out of office therefore achieving a premeditated plan against the topmost hierarchy of the judiciary. Nigerians obviously have not heard the whole story of why Onnoghen is being persecuted. But we are sure that very soon the fear of the APC government and the reasons behind the orchestrated plan will be revealed.
“The whole world is watching and it is unfortunate the negative message we are passing with the treatment meted out to officials of the judiciary being third arm of government will definitely affect our rating in the comity of nations.
“We wish Justice Onnoghen happy retirement.”
APC says Onnoghen’s resignation vindicates Buhari
The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in its reaction however said that the suspended CJN’s resignation vindicated President Buhari and the party.
Lanre Isa-Onilu, the National Publicity Secretary of the APC, said that the APC knew that the allegations against Onnoghen were too serious which was why Buhari had to suspend him.
Ogbodo ThankGod is currently the Managing Director/CEO/Group Chief Editor at Naija Buzz News Network. He was the Chief Editor at NaijaBuzz.News before his new top leadership role. Ogbodo has years of experience in the Nigeria Media Industry and has co-founded some media companies. He is the founder of Ogbodo Solution Nigeria and 1Push.Ng. He loves playing football and is a strong supporter of Lionel Messi who he describes as the greatest footballer of all time.