Professor Jerry Gana, whose presidential candidacy is still being challenged in court, has advised that due process must be followed in the trial of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, over alleged false assets declaration.
Prof. Gana, who addressed journalists in Abuja on Monday, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to use the case to prove those linking the case to him wrong.
He said, “On the specific recent issue of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), who was to have been arraigned before the Code of Conduct Tribunal today, we insist that due process of the law must be strictly followed.
“The obvious violation of the constitutional provisions on the trial and removal of the CJN embedded in Article 292 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) raises the suspicion that the proposed arraignment and trial of the CJN over alleged failure to fully declare his asset is premeditated.
“The fact that the planned trial has boycotted the constitutional provision which stipulates that any infraction by Judges must first be investigated and then resolved by the National Judicial Council, “to the exclusion of any other body or authority,” has further strengthened the suspicion.
“If the constitution has made such a clear provision for trial and removal of the CJN, it only follows that the law should be strictly followed as the case may be.
“Such a step has the potential of robbing the process of fairness. We expect that the Federal Government will respect the law of the land and follow due process in pursuing this case.
“Any contrary action will not only undermine the Nigerian Constitution and the Judiciary, but will heat up the polity unnecessarily at this sensitive period of electioneering campaign towards the general elections.
“This is both a moment and an opportunity for the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, to prove to Nigerians that the public perception in many quarters that this move is aimed at emasculating and intimidating the Judiciary ahead of the coming general election, are wrong.”