Arewa Consultative Forum has backed President Muhammadu Buhari on the suspension of CJN.
The northern body in a communique signed by its Secretary-General, Mr Anthony Sani, after a meeting in Kaduna on Wednesday, noted with regrets the conduct of Mr Walter Onnoghen.
ACF’s communique read, “ACF notes that the allegations against Chief Justice of Nigeria, are that he failed to comply with the express provisions of Code of Conduct Bureau Act, to wit, failure to declare his assets on assumption of office as Justice of Supreme Court and as Chief Justice of Nigeria.
“That when he was made to declare his assets as demanded by law, he failed to declare all of them.
“That Onnoghen was said to have told investigators that the reason for his not declaring those assets was forgetfulness.
“Following the discovery of these infractions, Code of Conduct Bureau, swiftly referred the matter to Code of Conduct Tribunal, which made an order for the temporary suspension of CJN in the interest of natural justice. However, this action by CCT has provoked intense controversy.
“And yet, from a reading of all the facts of the matter, ACF cannot defend the position taken by Onnoghen, especially his insistence that he should first be tried by National Judicial Council, of which he is Chairman. To do so would have allowed him to seat in judgement over his own case.”
It added, “ACF deeply regrets the conduct of Onnoghen, particularly his refusal to step aside and allow due process of the law to take its course. He has created the impression that his personal interests in this matter supersede that of the judiciary and the nation.”
The forum, however, urged law enforcement agencies to strive to carry out their professional duties in a manner that would not give room to partisanship.