The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has warned the representatives of foreign countries and organizations in Nigeria on their comments on the suspension of Justice Walter Onnoghen.
The Ministry expressed deep concern on involvement of the U.S Embassy, UK High Commission and European Union Election Observer Mission which is tantamount to an unacceptable interference in the internal affairs of Nigeria.
“The various statements, especially of those referred to above, appear prejudicial and signify alignment with the opposition and endorsement of its position that the ruling party and, by extension the Federal Government of Nigeria, is working on rigging the forthcoming elections in Nigeria.
“These statements also portend tolerance for corrupt acts and downplay the anti-corruption crusade of the Buhari Administration, knowing fully that the suspended CJN had not denied the charges against him.
“Also, probity requires of him to step aside while the case is under scrutiny,”
“Given their nuisance value of promoting sectional and religious divide in the country, anarchy and retrogression.
“Now, more than any other time, Nigerians and true friends of Nigeria should be working toward repositioning Nigeria to realise her potential and sustainably provide the leadership expected of her,”
“He remains a man of integrity, who has severally pledged free and fair elections.
“It is therefore absurd to presume that the suspension of the CJN is geared towards rigging the forthcoming elections in favour of the ruling party.
“For the avoidance of doubt, be it known that on three occasions that Mr. President went to court, as a presidential candidate and lost his case, in 2013, 2011 and 2007.
“The presiding judges at the Supreme Court were all northerners and Muslims: Justice Muhammad Lawal Uwais, Idris Lebo Kutigi and Dahiru Mustapha respectively,”
“The minority judgments in his favour were given by two judges, both of them southerners and Christians: Justices George Adesola Oguntade and Sylvanus Nsofor.
“Resident Embassies and International Organisations invited to observe the forthcoming elections should be wary of being drawn into the camp of the opposition.
“Otherwise their neutrality, which is the hallmark of election observers becomes questionable.
“It is indeed unfortunate that foreign missions would align with the opposition and seek to negatively interpret actions by the Federal Government, no matter their positive basis and intention,”
“How best can the corruption in the judiciary, which has enormously undermined the rights of the common man and made justice available only to the highest bidder, be best tackled than by ensuring that known cases are fundamentally tackled?
“Where is the rule of law, if justice is applied selectively?
“Pertinent questions that the opposition and their sympathisers must reflect upon are: How has the action of Mr. President undermined the resolve for free and fair election?
“In what ways does it undermine the independence of the Judiciary, except in the minds of the opposition and its cohorts?
“What right has a representative of a foreign government to incense an already volatile situation on the grounds that her Government has invested heavily in the elections
“Interference in Nigeria’s internal affairs under any guise will therefore not be accepted.
“Representatives of foreign Governments and organisations are therefore advised to tread with caution and desist from using the utterances and actions of opposition organisations and individuals as a vehicle to interfere in Nigeria’s internal affairs.
“Embassies and organisations accredited to Nigeria should desist from actions and utterances that can only create political, sectional and religious crises and divides,”