The Presidency has said the conviction of former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Mr Walter Onnoghen by the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) was a major victory for the anti-corruption policy of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
Reacting to the verdict on Thursday, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, said in a statement that the outcome of the trial demonstrated that the law was no respecter of persons, titles, social or political connections.
The statement said the essence of the rule of law was to hold everyone accountable equally before the law, regardless of their high or law status in the society, adding that the war against corruption is all encompassing and is not designed to persecute anyone for political or other reasons
“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 said.
The statement said the conviction of Onnoghen should send a clear message that the dragnet against corruption would be spread widely to hold public officials accountable, whether they are politicians, judges, civil servants or holding positions of public trust.