By Lateef Ibrahim
The Federal government on Monday explained that the suspension of Justice Onnoghen is a consequence of his breach of the Code of Conduct for Public Officers and has nothing to do with the forthcoming elections.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed who gave the explanation while addressing journalists in Abuja, equally said that the suspension of Onnoghen did not in any way signify the onset of dictatorship or tyranny as some have insinuated.
Mohammed assured that notwithstanding the threat of mass action by some groups over the suspension of Justice Onnoghen, such action cannot undermine the course of justice.
He warned, however, that such protests must be within the limits of the law.
According to him, “More Nigerians are with us than are with them on this issue, going by the feelers that we are getting from across the country.
“Those who want to protest against the suspension of the CJN should feel free to exercise their rights, within the limits of the law.
“Contrary to the cacophony of voices that have been muddying the waters, the CCT was acting within its powers in ordering the suspension of Justice Onnoghen as Chief Justice of Nigeria, and President Muhammadu Buhari was right in carrying out the order.
“The suspension of Justice Onnoghen is a consequence of his breach of the Code of Conduct for Public Officers and has nothing to do with the forthcoming elections, neither does it signify the onset of dictatorship or tyranny as some have insinuated.
“It amounts to irresponsible extrapolation to say that the suspension of Justice Onnoghen is the onset of dictatorship.
“A section of the media shirked their agenda-setting role by failing to
objectively lead the discourse on the issue of the allegation facing Justice Onnoghen and his subsequent suspension.
“Certain editorials crossed the acceptable limit of decent discourse, and did little or nothing to enlighten the public on the issue at stake.
“The opposition, in its reaction, is guilty of engaging in hysteria and for overheating the polity.
“Conveniently, they have anchored their failed campaign for the 2019 election on an issue that is totally unrelated to the election.