Monday, 3 February 2020

CJN Vs General Buhari: Interpretation to Onnoghen's Ghanaian parable used to send veiled message

3 February 2020 

In what has been referred to as his first public appearance in Calabar the state capital of Cross River sequel to leaving public office on 5th April 2019, the former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Nkanu Samuel Onnoghen, has helped himself to a Ghanaian folklore while addressing the public. 

Hon. Justice Onnoghen who chaired the Nigerian Bar Association's NBA Calabar Branch 2020 dinner on Friday 31 January, 2020 spoke in parables under the auspices of a Ghanaian parable. 

Gavel International reports that Onnoghen said, 'A lion, the king of the jungle one day was drinking water from the upstream when it noticed an antelope downstream that was also drinking water. The lion shouted at the antelope and accused it of ruffling the water. The antelope reminded the great lion that he (lion) is the one drinking from upstream and therefore the only one that can ruffle the waters.

'Not done, the lion went on and accused the antelope of abusing him, the king of the jungle during the burial of its (antelope) grandfather sometimes in the past. The antelope replied that he couldn't have insulted the king of the jungle at the burial since he was not yet born then.

'The lion then roared back that I am going to eat you for lunch today to which the antelope replied: "That's what you should have said in the first place".

One Adika Marcelinus Valentine on Facebook has interpreted the Ghanaian parable thus: 'Buhari should have gone straight to sacking Onnoghen instead of unnecessary drama, propagandas and controversies so that he can be free to feed his hungry thirst for Power without anyone to challenge him'. 

The former CJN's narration was, according to the report, received by his audience with a standing applause after which he took his seat. He was thereafter presented with Lifetime Achievement award by the Acting Chief Judge of Cross River State, Justice Akon Ikpeme with his wife, Nkoyo being present. 

Recall that Onnoghen who assumed office as Chief Justice of Nigeria CJN on 6th March 2017, suspended on 25th January 2019 was removed from office on 5th April 2019 did his Bachelor of Law in the University of Ghana, Legon between 1974 and 1977. 

Onnoghen was accused by Nigeria's president General Muhammadu Buhari and convicted by the Code of Conduct Tribunal for falsely declaring his assets after failing to reveal the money he held in five foreign bank accounts. This is the first time a chief justice in Nigeria has been put on trial and convicted accordingly. This was prior to the general elections of 2019. 

Onnoghen hails from Christian-dominated south, while Buhari is from the Islam-dominated north. Tanko who hails from the same region with Buhari had since replaced Onnoghen. 

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