OAbuja – Vice President Yemi Osinbanjo has absolved his principal, President Muhammed Buhari of pre-arranging the trial of Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen before the Code of Conduct Tribunal of non-declarations of assets.
He said “Buhari never had any fact of financial misdemeanor involving the CJN until Saturday evening”.
According to the Vice President “it is highly regrettable that his senior colleague the CJN has to go through this process but that Buhari had issued specific instructions that anti-graft institutions” be allowed to do their job without any interference.
He also expressed sadness over the trial of the National President of Nigerian Bar Association, Paul Usoro (SAN).
The Federal Government has, meanwhile, ordered the discontinuation of Onnoghen’s arraignment.
The Vice President made these clarifications in Abuja on Wednesday during a one-day conference organised by Online Publishers Association of Nigeria(OPAN), with the theme: “Free Press and objective reporting in the 2019 Election year.”
He said, “I must tell you in clear terms that, for President Muhammadu Buhari, his whole approach is that institutions should just do their work.
“I can tell you for a fact that he did not even know about this (CJN trial) until Saturday evening. I don’t feel good about it that senior members of my profession are being tried.
“He did not even know that there was going to be any kind of trial until Saturday evening.
“He had said categorically, ‘Don’t interfere with whatever institutions are doing.’
Sometimes, it has consequences such as we have today, such that people say, ‘How can such an important person be subjected to trial without the Federal Government?’
“But I can tell you without any equivocation that he (Buhari) was not aware.”