The Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) has alleged that there is a fresh plan by the Government of President Muhammadu Buhari to force the “suspended” Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, to resign at gun point.
CUPP said this on Tuesday in a statment by its first national spokesperson, Imo Ugochinyere, saying the plot was hatched after Onnoghen turned down “all mouth-watering offers” made to him.
It further alleged that the government was making efforts to force some senior lawyers to withdraw from defending the CJN, plus a plan to use security agencies to intimidate the CJN’s legal team.
The statement added that the Buhari government has been encouraging, supporting and motivating the spread of fake news against Mr. Onnoghen.
The statement read partly, “Some of the Senior Advocates on the team of the CJN have been trailed, their offices and homes being circled and monitored, their telephones bugged and most of them have had reports from their bankers that their account statements have been obtained by the security agencies and certain instructions placed on some types of transactions.
“Also, subtle threats of arrest have been handed down in a puerile attempt to intimidate, harass, scare and force them to abandon the professional job they have undertaken as provided in law.
“Neighbours near the Wuye office of one of the Senior Advocates are already apprehensive due to the activities of the security agencies.
“The workers in the farm of the CJN located in Uke in Nasarawa State have been threatened to leave their place of work in the farm or pay with their lives by persons who disguised to be Fulani herdsmen.
“We have credible intelligence that the visitors to the farm were arranged by the government, all to ensure the farm is crumbled and every other source of income of the CJN is blocked.
“The legal team of the CJN has written to the appropriate security agencies complaining of the warning and threats by the so-called Fulani herdsmen.
“The Presidency had alleged and spread the fake news that the CJN hid billions of Naira, Dollars, Pounds and Euros in his various accounts yet has been unable to file any of such in court.
“The Presidency encouraged the spread of the fake news that the CJN owns 55 choice properties in several plum areas of Abuja, Lagos, Calabar and other cities in and out of Nigeria, yet till date, has not disclosed the address of any of such houses because the houses only exist in their imagination.
“The attempt to use the spread of fake news is one that will fail and fall like a pack of cards. The Federal Government knows they do not have anything on the CJN hence their resort to purchasing a contrived Exparte Order which the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal shamelessly said he would want to cement by allowing the prosecution to move the motion on notice seeking the same prayer.
“The collusion between the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal is tending towards criminal and the Nigerian Bar Association is hereby called upon to immediately commence an inquest into the circumstances that led to the granting of the Exparte Order upon which the President claimed to have acted to unlawfully to force the CJN out of office.”