The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Mr Adams Oshiomhole, on Monday, condemned the statements issued by the governments of the United States and the United Kingdom as well as the European Union Observers on the suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen.
He made the condemnation at the Presidential Villa after the APC Senate caucus and the party’s senatorial candidates met with President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Nigeria is not a colony. We will not accept any foreign interference in the internal affairs of Nigeria,” he said.
He argued that judges get dismissed in Europe and the United States without interference.
“They (judges) have been dismissed across the world when they are found guilty of corruption and the western world cannot, on the one hand when it suits them, describe Nigeria as fantastically corrupt and when a corrupt judicial officer is being charged, people want to interfere.”
Oshiomhole’s comments were in reaction to questions about the criticism that had trailed the suspension of the CJN. Amid the storm caused by the suspension, the UK, the US, and the EU said in separate statements that they were concerned about the development.
While the UK said the timing “gives cause for concern”, the US said it “undercuts the stated determination of the government, candidates, and political party leaders to ensure that the elections proceed in a way that is free, fair, transparent, and peaceful – leading to a credible result”.
The Presidency has since criticised their reaction, warning that the government won’t tolerate interference, a position Oshiomhole defended on Monday. Apart from faulting the statements, Oshiomhole called on Nigerians to defend the country’s sovereignty.
“I think we all have to be careful. We must defend the sovereignty of our country,” he said.
Despite his criticism, he said Nigeria remained open to maintaining a relationship with other countries.
“We welcome collaboration, we welcome peer review; we can compare notes. We welcome people who are interested in sharing experiences with us wherever the need arises whether it is capacity building or making useful suggestions on how we can improve on our electoral process. Those are very valuable contributions that we appreciate,” Oshiomhole said.