Chief Uwazurike
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Chief Uwazurike

By OBINNA EZUGWU

Lagos based lawyer and president emeritus of Aka Ikenga, Chief Goddy Uwazurike, has described the circumstances leading to the resignation of Justice Walter Nkanu Onnoghen from office as Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) as very unfortunate, noting that the status of the judiciary as the fulcrum of democracy has been damaged.

Uwazurike who made his position known in a statement made available to Business Hallmark on Friday, recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had also in 1984 humiliated another Chief Justice, the late Justice George Sodeinde Sowemimo when he was military head of state.

“This resignation was like a thunderbolt!,” Uwazurike lamented. “This man has been humiliated in the worst way possible for a judge to be treated in this country since 1984.

“1984 was the year Chief Justice of Nigeria, Sowemimo was removed from office by the then Military Head of State, Major General Muhammadu Buhari! ! Ever since, the dignity of the judiciary was never trampled upon by any government, military or civilian.”

He said Onnoghen’s travails is an assault on the judiciary which, according to him, is regrettable.

“As a lawyer, I weep for the other members of the judiciary who did not understand that a new benchmark has been set for whipping any independent and courageous judge into line!

“Truly, the fulcrum of democracy has been damaged! Whether the 3rd arm of the government, the judiciary, shall recover is a matter of conjecture! But one thing is certain, our judiciary will not be respected all over the world and in Nigeria!”

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