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The Presidency has described the conviction of suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, in Abuja on Thursday as a major victory for the anti-corruption war.
Malam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, while reacting to judgment by the Code of Conduct Tribunal insisted that the war against corruption is all encompassing and not designed to persecute anyone for political or other reasons.
Shehu explained that the outcome of the trial demonstrated clearly that ”the law is no respecter of persons, titles, social or political connections”.
According to him, the essence of the rule of law is to hold everyone accountable before the law, regardless of their status in the society.
“The rule of law will lose its meaning and validity if only the weak, the poor and powerless are punished for their violations of the law.
”Countries succeed because the rule of law is evenly upheld and enforced. The war against corruption would go nowhere if the high and mighty are spared because of their influence and connections.
”You can’t fight corruption by allowing impunity because the rule of law cannot function where impunity is tolerated.”
Shehu pointed out that the conviction of Onnoghen would send a clear message that the dragnet against corruption would be ”spread widely to hold public officials accountable, whether they are politicians, judges, civil servants or holding positions of public trust.