Buhari removed me as CJN for allegedly meeting Atiku in Dubai – Onnoghen

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Former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Onnoghen has said that his 2019 removal by President Muhammadu Buhari was politically-motivated.

He said that he was removed following allegations that he met leading opposition candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Onnoghen spoke Friday at the launch of a book “Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure), Rules, 2009, Practice, Procedure, Forms and Precedents,” written by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief James Onoja.

He said although he heard rumour of his imminent removal over the purported meeting, he was not worried as he did not visit Dubai nor held any meeting with anyone, including Atiku.

The former CJN said he was disappointed that the Federal Government did not investigate the rumour to determine its veracity but chose to go after him and his office.

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He said his trial by the Code of Conduct Tribunal was a fallout of the plot to remove him since he had not been invited nor accused of any wrongdoing.

According to him, the plot further thickened when during the trial and after both parties had made appearances, the prosecution brought an ex-parte application and he was illegally and unlawfully suspended as the CJN.

“To say the least, the period of my ordeal was the darkest era in the history of the Nigerian judiciary

“As I have severally said, judicial officers must be courageous. And I want to beg all serving judicial officers not to be discouraged by what happened to me in the hand of the executive arm of the government,” Onnoghen stated.

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