Assets Declaration: APC defends CJN’s trial

The All Progressives Congress (APC), yesterday, insisted that its administration would not hesitate to investigate and prosecute any public officer if and when such person is indicted for corruption. The ruling party maintained that fight against corruption remains a cardinal promise made by it to the electorate and that its government will remain uncompromising in its determination to rid the country of the malady.

The party spoke against the backdrop of plans to arraign the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen. Justice Onnoghen is billed to appear before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) today on allegations of false and non-assets declarations. National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, had said that APC is afraid of an independent judiciary. He also accused the Presidency of plotting to annex the nation’s judiciary ahead of the February 16 presidential election.

However, the ruling party, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, said the swift statement by PDP, condemning the move to arraign the CJN, has again exposed the opposition party as one with a natural inclination to rise up in defence of cases of alleged corruption. It said: “Resort to baseless postulations anytime issues of corruption are levelled against public officers only confirm what Nigerians already know. PDP and corruption are Siamese twins that are difficult to separate.

One would have thought that PDP will call for impartial investigations when corruption cases are levelled against public officers, but spinning falsehoods and conspiracies remains the opposition party’s favourite past time. “The fight against corruption remains a cardinal promise made by APC to the electorate.

We assure PDP and indeed all Nigerians that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC administration remains uncompromising in its determination to rid the country of this malady.“As noted on many occasions by President Buhari, it is only those who have committed crimes that need to worry. The APC administration will not hesitate to investigate and prosecute any public officer if and when such is indicted for corruption.”

On PDP’s allegation that it is planning to manipulate the forthcoming elections, APC said it has played by the rules, which has led to credible elections. It added that this couldn’t be said of the PDP era, when state institutions were deployed to manipulate the electoral process. “Achieving acceptable elections in all democratic climes is a collective effort, which requires the contributions and support of all well-meaning Nigerians, political parties, institutions and sundry interests. “Commendably, in successive elections conducted under the APC administration, the party has played by the rules, which has led to credible elections. This cannot be said of the PDP era, when state institutions were deployed to manipulate the electoral process.

“The PDP’s baseless conspiracy theory on APC’s participation in the 2019 general elections should hereby be disregarded. We remain solidly committed to ensure that the forthcoming election go on record as one of the freest, most credible and peaceful elections in the country,” APC said. Meanwhile, the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nnia Nwodo has called on the Federal Government not to heat up the polity. Nwodo, in a statement yesterday, described the action as premature and ill-conceived following an extant Court of Appeal decision, which interprets the procedure for prosecuting judicial officers.

“The fact that one of the issues being canvassed by the CCB before the CCT is for an order of the CCT for the Chief Justice of Nigeria to step aside from his exalted office pending the conclusion of the trial, contrary to the procedure for his removal from office as provided by the Nigerian constitution, exposes the aim of the prosecution.”Read More

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