The Supreme Court said yesterday that it remains a united institution, denying a report that the reported resignation of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, had ripped it apart.
“It is necessary to state categorically clear that the publication is false and misleading in its entirety. There is no iota of truth in the story, as every word in it only exists in the realm of rumour and mischief,” the Director of Press and Information, Supreme Court, Mr. Festus Akande, said in a statement.
According to the statement, the Supreme Court of Nigeria is one big, indivisible judicial family that is not in any way governed by religious, tribal or parochial influence or sentiments.
The statement added that the judicial oath taken by all the justices of the court is “a potent sacred bond that regulates and conscientises the conducts of the judges in the discharge of their judicial functions.”
It added: “For the umpteenth time, let it be known to all and sundry that no judicial officer is appointed on account of religious or tribal affiliation, as such, the discharge of their judicial obligations cannot be dictated by such extraneous considerations. As it has always been, the Supreme Court justices and the entire management are united, cohesive and indivisible in the quest to move the court to an enviable height.”
The apex court enjoined members of the public to always cross check their facts from it.
Justice Onnoghen is currently under prosecution by the federal government over allegations of failure to declare some of his assets in line with the provisions of the law for public officers.
He has been on suspension since January 25, 2019, by President Muhammadu Buhari on the orders of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).
Onnoghen, however, was said to have turned in his notice of retirement to President Muhammadu Buhari last Thursday, a development that has not been confirmed by the Supreme Court but nevertheless has assumed prominence in the media and other public discourse.