The Presidency has affirmed that the conviction of former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, by the Code of Conduct Tribunal was a major victory for the anti-corruption policy of the Buhari administration.
Reacting to the verdict on Thursday, the Presidency through a statement by President Muhammadu Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, explained that the outcome of the trial demonstrates clearly that the law is no respecter of persons, titles, social or political connections.
The statement added that the essence of the rule of law is to hold everyone accountable equally before the law, regardless of their high or law status in the society.
According to the Presidency, the war against corruption is all encompassing and is not designed to persecute anyone for political or other reasons.
The statement by Shehu said: “The rule of law would lose its meaning and validity if only the weak, the poor and powerless are punished for their violations of the law. Countries succeed because the rule of law is evenly upheld and enforced. The war against corruption would go nowhere if the high and mighty are spared because of their influence and connections. You can’t fight corruption by allowing impunity because the rule of law cannot function where impunity is tolerated.”
The statement explained that the conviction of Justice Onnoghen should send a clear message that the dragnet against corruption will be spread widely to hold public officials accountable, whether they are politicians, Judges, civil servants or holding positions of public trust.