A former personal assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari, Chief Okoi Obono-Obla has denied responsibility over the way a former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen was dramatically removed from office two years ago.
He said the people from his home State still harboured grudges against him, accusing him of attempting to block appointment of their son ab initio, and being responsible for his removal.
In a statement, Obono-Obla, who is angling to run for the Cross River Central Senatorial District, said, “I was never responsible for removing the Chief Justice of Nigeria. I never played any role in all the events culminating in his removal from office. It wasn’t within the ambit of my schedule when I was in government. And I could not have challenged the government I worked.
The allegation is also baseless and a tissue of lies to give me a bad name, and it is politically motivated.”
He maintained that he never opposed the appointment of Justice Onnoghen, adding that it was even outside his purview as a special assistant to the President.
It is the President’s prerogative; subject to the confirmation by the Senate, to appoint any person of his choice as Chief Justice of Nigeria,” he said.
He narrated that in the three years he was in government, he suffered because he was open and devoted to the country.
He cited many examples and explained that when issues become controversial, the President had the power to appoint a CJN even outside the Justices of the Supreme Court.