28 January 2019

Nigeria: Atiku Hails U.S., UK, EU for Condemning Assault On Judiciary

Photo: Daily Trust
Chief Justice of Nigeria Walter Onnoghen.

Abuja — The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has commended the United States, United Kingdom (UK) and the European Union for condemning the unconstitutional removal of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Atiku in a statement he personally signed yesterday said that while some water has passed under the bridge, he completely and unequivocally rejects and condemns that action and any other breach of the country's constitution.

The former vice President stated, "If they come for the heads of the legislature and we keep quiet because we are not legislators, if they came for the heads of the media and we keep quiet because we are not journalists, if they came for the head of the judiciary and we keep quiet because he/she is not from our area, there may be no one left to speak up when they come for us.

"This scenario appears to me like déjà vu. Under a particularly brutal military dictatorship, Nigerians wit-nessed the illegal and arbitrary removal of many innocent people from their positions of authority and many said nothing because they were not from the ethnic group of those affected.

"I am not fighting for Justice Onnoghen. I am fighting for the constitution. Once we open the Pandora's Box of unconstitutionality, we cannot tell where it will end."

Atiku especially thanked the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union for standing shoulder to shoulder with the Nigerian people, saying "This is most appreciated and on behalf of the voiceless, I say thank you."

He said those accusing these governments of interfering made no such accusations when they celebrated a statement from the US/UK/EU calling for free and fair elections in 2015, just after the postponement of the 2015 elections to make room for a final assault against Boko Haram, adding that "what has changed between then and now, except that they are now in power."

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