Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, has reminded the United Kingdom, the United State of America and the European Union, that Nigeria is no longer a colony and can handle its internal affairs.
He spoke against the backdrop of President Muhammadu Buhari’s suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen and the reaction of the worldpowers.
Oshiomhole told State House Correspondents, after Monday night meeting President Muhammadu Buhari, with APC Senators, at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, in Abuja, reiterated that “Nigeria is not a colony. I think we all have to be careful. We must defend the sovereignty of our country. We welcome collaboration, we welcome peer review, we can compare notes, we welcome people who are interested in sharing experiences with us…
“Those are very valuable contributions that we appreciate. But, Nigeria is not a colony. We will not accept any foreign interference in the internal affairs of Nigeria. When they dismiss judges in Europe…judges have been dismissed in the United States when they are found guilty of corruption, the Western world cannot on the one hand, when it suits them, describe Nigeria as fantastically corrupt and when a corrupt judicial officer is being charged, people want to interfere.
“Now, if a Chief Justice of the Federation admits that he has breached the law, if a Chief Justice of the Federation admits that he has several foreign domiciliary accounts, even though he also admits that, by nature of his office, he is not a trader, what is he doing with accounts in British pounds, US dollars and in Euros and to the extent of forgetting that he has those accounts?
“If he has such memory failure about the size of his number of accounts, as to fail to declare them, you and I know that not even ignorance is an excuse in law. So, where are we being hypocritical?
“And at a certain level of responsibility, it’s not even about legal technicalities. It’s about the moral weight, the moral burden you carry.
“So, nobody should make us feel as though we are at the mercy of any other country. The future of Nigeria is in the hands of Nigerians and our laws clear. Our laws are meant to be obeyed.
Last Saturday, the US embassy in Nigeria said in a statement it was “deeply concerned by the impact of the executive branch’s decision to suspend and replace the Chief Justice and head of the judicial branch without the support of the legislative branch on the eve of national and state elections.”