Governors from the South South region of Nigeria are not the only ones suspecting foul play in the planned arraignment of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Onnoghen.

Senate President Bukola Saraki knows all about being arraigned at the Code of Conduct Tribunal on charges of failure to declare his assets and has a warning for the Nigerian government.

Saraki believes that if the Government truly has genuine reason to put the incumbent Chief Justice of Nigeria on trial, it should ensure that every step in the process is transparent and the normal process as provided by the law is followed to the letter.

He said a situation where the petition which triggered the trial was submitted to the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) on Wednesday January 8 and by January 10 on Friday, the Chief Justice was presented with it for his reply only for the charges to be drafted that same day and filed in the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), all this taking place within three days and commencement of trial fixed for Monday, January 14, already indicate unnecessary haste and short-circuiting of the process of fair hearing.

“It is important for the government and members of the public to know that as somebody who have travelled this route before, we should refrain from any media trial and political players should avoid abusing the judicial process in order to achieve what they could not get through normal political contests.

“Everybody who is being tried should be presumed innocent until proven guilty. That is the underlining principle of our justice system.

“The proposed trial of the CJN has once again opened up the debate on the transparency and neutrality of the fight against corruption.

“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 whereas there are pending cases where the individuals involved have been indicted some months ago but no prosecution is being considered”, the Senate President stated.

The Senate President’s view is contained in a statement in Ilorin on Sunday.

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