The Muslim Congress (TMC), a faith-based organisation, has frowned at the recommendation by the Nigerian Judicial Council (NJC) that the former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen be retired with full benefits and retaining his position at the Council of State.
The organisation said in its series 14 of the “State of The Nation Address” of the TMC Committee on Social Mobility, the Economy & Politics that the recommendation fell short of the expected requirements of the law.
The address was presented to newsmen by the General Secretary, Alhaji Taiwo Bamgbala on behalf of the President of TMC, Dr Luqman AbdurRaaheem, who doubles as chairman of the committee, in Lagos.
According to the committee, once the NJC is convinced that the former CJN has erred under the laws of the land, he should be made to face the music.
“With the incontrovertible allegations made by the EFCC according to the NJC, nothing short of a sack and prosecution under the laws of the land will be suitable.
“Since he who must come to equity must come with clean hands, the former CJN must be punished for getting his hands soiled.
“There are many Nigerians in jails today who only stole meagre amounts.
“Does it not look like he is being rewarded for wrongdoing if he gets compulsorily retired, gets full retirement benefits and maintains his seat at the Council of State?
“What deterrence does it serve by allowing Justice Onnoghen to go scot-free?’’ the committee asked.
It insisted that the former CJN “must face the full wrath of the law so that others in his shoes or those who aspire to follow his example must know that their days in court will come soon when the law will deal with them mercilessly’’.
On political brutality going on in the country, the committee called on the Federal Government, the acting Inspector General of Police and the Police Service Commission (PSC) to work assiduously to stop the increasing brutality by the police which has led to the loss of innocent lives.
It recalled several cases of killings of innocent Nigerians in the hands of the Nigerian Police personnel.
“Even though some policemen found to be perpetrators of extra-judicial killing are eventually dismissed after internal processes, only a few of them are charged to court.
“Those charged to court tried to evade justice for a long time and many of them eventually escaped justice.
“It is only a punitive system that ensures perpetrators of police brutality swiftly face the full wrath of the law that will ensure these acts of senseless killings are stopped.’’
The TMC, therefore, recommend that the Nigerian people, armed with social media, the NGOs and the mainstream media “must stand guard in the defence of the people’s fundamental human right to life’’.
As Muslims prepare for the Ramadan, the committee charged the adherents of the Islamic faith to make adequate spiritual, moral, financial and social preparations now in order to welcome the blessed month.
“Muslims should do this by strengthening their relationship with the Holy Qur’an, engaging much in the remembrance of Allah and re-connecting themselves properly with the beneficial act of fasting in order to maximise the blessings when the time comes,’’ the committee advised.