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What drives Justice Umar’s order to arrest Onnoghen?

Justice Danladi Umar of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) has ordered the arrest and arraignment of the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen and I wonder what’s driving the junior judge.

Umar issued a warrant of arrest Wednesday morning February 13 to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to arrest Onnoghen and bring him to his tribunal unfailingly on Friday. He also directed the Director of the Department of State Services (DSS) to join in effecting the arrest and arraignment.

Most junior judges in Nigeria would be scared to serve justice like Umar for fear of being victimised. Umar was the same judge who docked the Senate President Bukola Saraki in 2018 over controversies that surrounded his assets declaration in his time as Governor of Kwara State.

For Umar, it is obvious that nobody is above the law; at least not in his tribunal. Not billionaire politician Saraki and definitely not billionaire [?] Onnoghen.

It is expected that neither the Nigeria Police nor the DSS will play politics with Umar’s order, and Onnoghen will appear at the tribunal on Friday to face his own trial. He has tried many Nigerians in the past as a judge himself and this experience should humble Onnoghen as well as remind all other judges that they are ordinary men too, not gods or God.

Saraki tried to rubbish Umar. His lawyers tried to cast aspersions on his character as a judge. Saraki failed. Well, I hope Umar keeps his nose squeaky clean so that when corruption fights back at him, he won’t be found wanton.

Danladi Umar is a Nigerian jurist from Bauchi State in North Central Nigeria. Prior to becoming Chairman of the Code Of Conduct Tribunal of Nigeria, he was a lawyer and a Chief Magistrate in Bauchi State, Nigeria. He is 47 years old. He is an ongoing lesson in the Nigerian judiciary.

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