For the first time in over a year since his unceremonious ouster from office as CJN, the immediate past Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, has revealed that he was removed from office by President Muhammadu Buhari because of a baseless rumour against him.
He said the rumour purported that he had a meeting in Dubai with a former vice president and presidential candidate of the PDP in the last election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
Justice Onnoghen spoke on Friday in Abuja during the public presentation of a book by Ogwu James Onoja (SAN), titled, “Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules 2009: Practice, procedure, forms and precedents.”
Onnoghen said he was disappointed that the presidency removed him from office without carrying out an investigation to authentic the rumour about his meeting in Dubai with the former vice president which he said never held, adding that he has never met Alhaji Atiku in person.
He admitted that although he was aware of the rumour of the purported meeting before he was ousted, he did not pay much attention to it because he knew it was unfounded.
The former CJN recalled with surprise that in the process leading to his removal from office, his trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) was allowed to continue even without a formal invitation or accusation of wrongdoing. While this was ongoing, he was suddenly suspended from office by the President, he said.