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Presidency kicks as Onnoghen links Buhari, Atiku electoral contest to removal as CJN

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A former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen (retd.), on Friday, said the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), removed him as CJN before the 2019 general elections because the President was informed that the ex-Chief Justice had been in a meeting with former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Abubakar was the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party.

Onnoghen spoke in Abuja during the public presentation of a book titled ‘Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules, 2009, Practice, Procedure, Forms and Precedents,’ written by Chief Ogwu James Onoja (SAN).

He said though the rumour was thick and spread fast, he decided not to react to it because he never travelled to Dubai or held any meeting with anyone, including Atiku.

The former CJN, however, said he was surprised that despite the fact that the Federal Government had all the machinery to investigate the allegation of the rumoured meeting with Atiku, it never did so, but opted to unlawfully go after him and his office.

Onnoghen said his trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal was quickly arranged, even when he had not been invited or accused of any wrongdoing.

He added that the action of the government against him further worsened when, in the course of the trial and when parties had joined issues, an ex-parte application was suddenly brought in, followed by his “illegal and unlawful suspension” as the CJN.

The former CJN said, “Prior to my suspension, I was confronted with no allegation. There were rumours that I met with Atiku in Dubai. As I am talking here today, I have never met Atiku one-on-one in my life. As if that was not enough, I was also accused of setting free, high-profile criminals, whereas I ceased to be a High Court judge as far back as 1978.

Also Read: Onnoghen: Buhari Removed Me After The Rumors That I Met Atiku In Dubai

“In the Supreme Court, I did not sit alone. We sit in a panel. In all these rumours and outright accusations, I was not given opportunity to defend myself.

“Let me make it clear that the office of the CJN was not for Onnoghen but for all Nigerians who had sworn to guide and protect the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. To say the least, the period of my ordeal was the darkest era in the history of the Nigerian judiciary.

“As I have said repeatedly, judicial officers must be courageous. And I want to beg all serving judicial officers not to be discouraged by what happened to me at the hands of the executive arm of the government.

“Emerging Nigerian judges should not go the direction of injustice because without courageous judges and justice, Nigeria is doomed. Here, let me sound this note of warning that the appointment of judicial officers must never be allowed to be politicised, otherwise, democracy and democratic governance will be dead.

“During my tenure, the problem of Nigeria was not the Nigerian judiciary, but those who had no regard for the rule of law. We must therefore be committed to the rule of law and dispense justice without fear or favour. Truth stands; crush it, it will stand because it is truth.”

He said his ordeal in 2019 was not the first, adding that at a point during former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration, a commission was set up and that he was indicted of wrongdoing, even when he was not invited to defend himself.

Onnoghen, however, said because Obasanjo was a leader who listened to advice, the matter was referred to the National Judicial Council for review.

According to him, at the council, truth surfaced and it was upheld to resolve uncleared issues.

He urged Nigerians to stand by truth because only justice could rescue Nigeria.

However, a  Presidency official who did not want his name mentioned because he has not been authorised to speak on the matter said there was no truth in Onnogen’s claim on the reason behind his leaving office.

The source said the former CJN was duly charged and convicted.

He wondered if Onnoghen was indicting the same judicial system which he presided over.

The Presidency official said, “Recall that Onnoghen was charged before the Code of Conduct Tribunal.

“Recall also that evidence was presented. He contested the evidence and he lost, then he was convicted.

“So, what is he saying? Is he faulting the same judicial system which he presided over?

“As far as I know, his claim of a rumoured meeting with Atiku in Dubai was not part of the issue before the CCT. So, why change the narrative at this time?”

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, could not be reached on the telephone for comment as of the time of filing this report.

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Eze Mbamara inaugurates new Amato-Amaraku town union excos

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Obi-Aku, Uzi of Amato-Amaraku in Isiala Mbano Local Government Area of Imo State, His Royal Highness Eze J. C. Mbamara (VI) has inaugurated the new Executive Officers of the town union.

Inaugurating them at his palace on Tuesday 5th of April,2021, the monarch sought God’s blessing upon the new leadership.

The former Chairman Isiala Mbano Council of Traditional Rulers also charged them to be a uniting factor in the community.

Recall that the new President General Mr. Andy Pace Osunwa was earlier inaugurated alongside other 39 President General of different autonomous communities in Isiala Mbano LGA by the Interim Management Committee Chairman Evangelist Chika Okoroike recently.

Those Inaugurated by the monarch included, Mr. Andy Pace Osunwa, President General; Chief Anthony Onwubuariri, Vice President; Mr. Jephter Mbamara, Secretary General; Mr. Alphonsus Duru, Treasurer;

Others were Mr. Chijioke Abiazie, Financial Secretary; Chief Byron Louis Ugwonali, Organizing Secretary/PRO; Mr. Gordon Obi, Assistant Secretary; Mr. Rev lord Osuji, Provost(I) and Mr. Ignatius Njokeji(II).

In his acceptance speech, the President General, Mr. Osunwa expressed delight over his emergence just as he called for unity in the community.

He further promised to lead the community with fear of God, even been hopeful of great change.

During the inaugural meeting on Wednesday 7th April, 2021, the new PG inaugurated a 9-man Peace and Reconciliatory Committee headed by Chief Lawrence Amadi.

While calling their attention on divergent interest in the community, he charged them to maintain integrity as a veritable tool to restore tranquility and togetherness in the land.

This is even as he tasked them to discharge their task without fear or favour. In his remark, one of the leaders Chief Lawrence Ibeh encouraged the new leadership to reach out to other leaders and stakeholders with a view to addressing some nagging issues hindering the progress and development of the community.

The Ikeoha 1 of Amato-Amaraku however assured them of support whenever they are needed.

Read Also; MBIERI NWOT: Traditional Rulers Lack Powers To Control Mbieri Nwaotuoke Union, Says President General.

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[BREAKING] Arms fund probe: Finally, Army chief appears before Reps

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The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, is currently appearing before the House of Representatives’ Ad Hoc Committee on the Need to Review the Purchase, Use and Control of Arms, Ammunition and Related Hardware by Military, Paramilitary and Other Law Enforcement Agencies.

The committee had no less than two times invited Attahiru and Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, to answer questions on the procurement of arms and ammunition.
On Friday, the committee, after a long wait, postponed the investigative hearing till Monday.

Read Also: Police Kills another Black man in Minneapolis, sparks fresh protest

Earlier on March 22, 2021, the committee had, after the failure by the CBN governor and the COAS to appear before it, summoned them to appear before on April 7, 2021.

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“I speak with millionaires” – Mercy Eke replies bad belle people

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Mercy Eke replies bad belle people

The winner of the Big Brother Naija show (season 4), Mercy Eke has responded to some bad belle people on social media, who mocked her for her Igbo accent.

Recall that Mercy Lambo has repeatedly been a subject of online troll largely because of her local accent which clearly depicts her origin (Igbo).

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However, the media battle started, after a fan admired Mercy due to her beautiful looks.

A lady reacted saying that the reality star is beautiful till she opens her mouth to speak.

Responding to the statement, Mercy told the lady that she opens her mouth to speak with millionaires on how to make billions.

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