Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu yesterday reacted to the allegation by one of the two embattled Justices of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, Justice Sylvester Ngwuta in his petition addressed to the Chief Justice of Nigeria and Chairman of the National Judicial Council, that the All Progressives Congress (APC) leader approached him to pervert justice in the 2015 Ebonyi State governorship election appeal.
The former Abia State governor, who hails from the same part of Ebonyi with Ngwuta distanced himself from the current travails of the judicial officer, saying that he did not offer him bribe.
Onu did not however, mention whether he had any communication with the judge in order to seek favour for the Labour Party gubernatorial candidate as alleged by the petitioner.
He no doubt agreed that he has known Ngwuta for almost 30 years, stressing that he felt for him in this trying period of his career life.
Onu in a statement he issued noted that he has laboured hard with other compatriots to strengthen the depth and reach of participatory democracy in our beloved country.
In doing so, he said, “I am conscious of the essence of the rule of law as a vital component of true and enduring democracy and the important need to treasure, protect and defend it at all times. Even as a student, teacher, engineer and administrator, I have always worked tirelessly to uphold the rule of law.”
Continuing, he said, “let me affirm that I did not offer Hon. Justice Sylvester Ngwuta or any other judge for that matter bribe to influence judicial proceeding at any time.
“I am astonished that Justice Ngwuta made such statements against my humble self, especially considering that he is my brother, friend and long standing associate of almost three decades.
“I wish to make it clear that I know Hon. Justice Sylvester Nwali Ngwuta, both of us having come from the same old Ohaozara Local Government Area of Ebonyi State. Our relationship has been that of mutual respect for one another over the years.”
The minister stated that he has always been a builder, not a destroyer, a man of peace, honour and justice and shall remain so.
Concluding, he said, “I believe in honour as a strong attribute that has guided me throughout my more than 25 years old career in public service. I have not changed. And I will never change. I wish to reassure Hon. Justice Sylvester Nwali Ngwuta that regardless of the circumstance, my heart goes out to him, especially at this challenging time of his career as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.”