Corruption matters: “you’re free to think whatever you want”, CJN tells Nigerians

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[Abuja]–The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, has said that Nigerians can think whatever they think about the Judiciary, but they should remember that facts and laws should be their right guide.

He warned Nigerians to desist from being judgmental on the performance of the judiciary in the ongoing anti-corruption fight, in order to avoid being prejudicial.

The CJN made this known after meeting behind closed doors with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Tuesday.

Specifically, he said it while reacting to recent developments that saw government agencies losing corruption-related cases in court and the allegations of judicial gang-up. He argued that corruption battle has not lose its steam, as against media reports.

When asked to respond specifically to allegation of judicial gang-up against corruption fight, Onnoghen said, “I am not going to speculate. I am lawyer and judicial officer. I operate on facts and the law. So, I can’t answer that question because I am not on everybody’s mind.

He mentioned that the judicial system is fashioned in such a way that there must be winners and losers, but in a case where the perceived loser is not contented with the result, such party could appeal the case.

“You are free to think whatever you want to think but I think you should be guided by facts and the law when it comes to judicial performance or discharge of judicial responsibilities.”

“I have told you that if you are not satisfied, the system is fashioned and designed in such a way that if you lose in the magistrate court and you are not satisfied; because someone must win and another must lose; so the loser has the chance of testing the decision on appeal.

“When it comes to the judiciary, don’t be judgmental. When you are judgmental, you become prejudice”, he said.

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