Onnoghen should have resigned honourably instead of fighting dirty – Sagay

Itse Sagay

Chairman of the Presidential Committee on Anti-Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay, has said that the convicted former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Onnoghen, was misadvised into filing appeals against his arraignment when he should have resigned honourably.

Onnoghen was convicted on Thursday by the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) for false declaration of assets.

He was barred from holding public office for 10 years while the undeclared money in the said accounts would be forfeited to the Federal Government.

In an interview on Thursday with New Telegraph at his Surulere, Lagos law chamber, Sagay said Onnoghen’s conviction showed that no one is above the law.

Sagay said: “It’s a shame, but I think the principle has been established and that is nobody is above the law. I also think we can admit that there is serious problem with our judiciary and there is need for cleaning. If that level is not clean, then the rest of the country will remain unclean.

“What has happened is that somebody in a high position has not met the standard of that position. When these charges were first brought against the CJN, what happened was scandalous.

“His friends and acolytes started jumping from one court to another, seeking unnecessary injunctions; they even went to the National Industrial Court. They even went to the Appeal Court when there is nothing to appeal. So, they didn’t handle the matter with dignity and respect that his office demands.

“At the time he should have resigned honourably, he decided to fight dirty with all these Senior Advocates pushing him on and misleading him. But now they have all deserted him.”