[Photo] Meet die hard Buhari supporter behind CJN’s petition, trial at CCT
Dennis Aghanya, the Executive Secretary of the Anti-Corruption Research and Data-Based Initiative, is the author of the petition to the Code of Conduct Tribunal in which he alleged the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, failed to declare his assets.
The petitioner is one of the founding members of the Buhari Organisation and he is the pioneer National Publicity Secretary of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change. Buhari contested the 2011 presidential election on the platform of the party.
Aghanya is and has been canvassing support for the President since he assumed office. He pleaded with the National Assembly to forgive Buhari when the lawmakers threatened to impeach him for spending $496m to buy Tucano jets for the military to fight Boko Haram in the North-East without following due process.
Although Aghanya said Buhari’s action might have violated the laid down procedure, his intention was altruistic.
Aghanya in 2017 lauded the efforts of the Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, in the fight against corruption through curtailing drug abuse in the state. Aghanya’s group honoured the governor with an award of Best Governor in Curtailing Drug Abuse in the country.
At the 2017 ARDI Media Merit Award of Excellence in Abuja, Aghanya said, “Governor Ganduje represents most of the values that the ARDI as an organisation is known for supporting the fight against corruption in Nigeria.
“To be specific, he has taken the anti-corruption campaign to the grassroots by inaugurating the Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission offices in all the 44 local governments of the state.”
He added, “ The Ganduje administration remains committed to the fight against corruption in line with President Buhari’s campaign promises and his administration’s determination to end corruption.”
Meahwhile, Aghanya has dismissed allegations that his petition against the CJN was instigated by President Muhammadu Buhari. He said he also took Buhari to court in 2011.
Aghanya in an interview with The Punch on Saturday night said: “Did you not know that I once took Mr. President to court in 2011? I used to be one of his aides but I took him to court.
“This is a petition by an NGO. What has Mr. President got to do with it? People are just trying to avoid a major issue. Our concern is to unveil irregularities. People should not try to politicise the good work we are doing.
“The person the petition was written against owed up to everything. In issues of this nature, should we be sentimental or do we face facts?”
Aghanya added that he would address a press conference on a yet-to-be-determined date over the development.
Asked why the petition against Onnoghen was coming so close to the elections, Aghanya said there was no time lag in things of that nature.
He noted that his organisation commenced investigation against the senior judicial officer about a year ago.
He dismissed the allegations that the petition was politically motivated, adding that the ARDI should rather be commended for exposing the alleged misdemeanour of the CJN.
Aghanya said it was not true that the petition was calculated to emasculate the judiciary or help President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election in the forthcoming presidential poll, arguing that Nigerians should be more interested in the substance of the case.
He said, “There is no time lag in things of that nature, but it appears people are leaving the substance of the case to pursue shadow. People have not looked at the merit of the case, so they are not bothered that something was going wrong and we had to point it out.
“I weep for this country. How are we working for Mr President? Is it because we came up with a petition that was substantiated? Why should it be tied to the elections? It is immaterial. Even before he was sworn in as the CJN, there were cases established against him, but nobody had the courage to take them up.”