By Ismaila Chafe
Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Onnoghen, on Tuesday dismissed speculations that there is a judicial gang-up against the anti-corruption campaign by the Buhari Government.
Onnoghen, said this after a closed door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in the Presidential Villa.
He described the accusation as mere speculation.
The CJN also said that the judiciary was behind the fight with all sense of responsibility.
“If there was steam then it wouldn’t happen without the participation of the judiciary. So, if there is losing of steam you should not only equate it to the judiciary.
“The fight against corruption has lost no steam. It is not correct. Now, you should know one thing: two people will always have a quarrel. They may be three or four or one hundred. All the parties to that quarrel will always have different stories to tell.
“By the way our system is fashioned and designed and operated, when you go to a court of law, you cannot have a drawn game. There must be a winner and there must be a loser. In our system, a loser has the chance of appealing to the highest court eventually.
“So, you cannot say because the government or any agency has lost a case in the high court, you have lost a case and the fight is losing steam,’’ he said.
The federal government had appealed an anti-corruption case against a judge of the Federal High Court in Abuja, Justice Adeniyi Ademola, his wife, Olabowale, and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr Joe Agi.
They were discharged and acquitted of the 18-court criminal charge filed against them by the trial Judge, Justice Jude Okeke, who held that the prosecution failed to establish a prima facie case against them.
Okeke described the charges as speculative and without an iota of merit.
Another Federal High Court sitting in Lagos ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to unfreeze the account of the wife of the former President Goodluck Jonathan, Patience.
The account was one of the multiple accounts, tied with Patience, which the court in November 2016 ordered to be frozen on the ground that the money was suspected to be proceeds of crime.
The EFCC has obtained a stay-of-execution order and has gone on appeal.