Government & Politics

Bukola Saraki Says FG’s Haste Shows Corruption War Is Compromised

Saraki in a statement in Ilorin on Sunday advised the Federal Government to follow due process in the trial of Onnoghen to avoid chaos in the nation’s judiciary.

Saraki said he believed that if the government truly had genuine reasons to put Onnoghen on trial, due process must not be compromised.

The Senate President insisted that “the Federal Government should ensure that every normal step in the process (of the trial) as provided by the law, is transparent and followed to the letter.”

Saraki said, “The haste with which this trial is being pursued leaves a lot to be desired. From last Wednesday when the so-called petition against the CJN was initiated to the period the trial is scheduled to commence has been barely three working days.

“Meanwhile, there are pending cases where some individuals (allegedly) involved (in corruption) have been indicted some months ago but no prosecution is being considered.”

Saraki maintained that the anti-corruption fight had become a case of a separate rule for the people close to the executive arm and another set of rules for the rest of Nigerians.

He said, “The fight (against corruption) has been compromised and politicised. All the subjective actions politicise the anti-graft fight. They weaken national institutions. They send wrong signals.

“The CJN is not above the law but his trial puts the entire judicial system on trial. It sends a signal to the entire world about our judiciary. It has implications for the confidence of local and foreign investors about the system of adjudication over disputes in our country.

“Thus, the matter should be handled with care, demonstrating intense transparency and strict adherence to due process.

“This trial, coming just about a month to the commencement of the presidential election, the aftermath of which the CJN and the judiciary, which he is leading are set to play crucial adjudicatory role, has already raised suspicion about the real motive.

“There are already suggestions that this plan is set to disorganise the judicial arm after constant attempts by agents of state to undermine the federal legislature.

“Therefore, the entire country and the international community will be watching closely, every step in this trial because it is definitely unusual, unprecedented and will set a record in the engagement among the three arms of government recognised in our presidential system.”

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