The process that led to planned arraignment of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen was concluded within four days, DailyPost reports.
At the weekend, information emerged that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government has ordered the CJN to immediately vacate his office.
The government is said to, on Monday January 14, 2019, arraign him before the Justice Danladi Yakubu led-Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) in Abuja, on charges of failure to declare his assets as required by law and for operating Bank Domiciliary Foreign Currency Accounts.
On Saturday, our correspondent exclusively learnt of the timelines of the legal action against Onnoghen.
On Monday January 7, a petition was written by the Anti-Corruption and Research Based Data Initiative (ARDI);
On Tuesday January 8, the petition was submitted to the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB);
On Wednesday January 9, the petition was stamped “received” by the office of the CCB chairman;
On Thursday January 10, charges against CJN Onnoghen were filed by the CCB;
On Friday January 11, the CJN was served at his official residence in Abuja.
Details of the petition, ARDI petitioned the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), listed a number of allegations, false declaration of assets, against Onnoghen.
The group said its petition, dated January 7, 2019, became necessary “bearing in mind the imminence of the 2019 General Elections and the overwhelming roles of the Judicial Arm both before and after”.
ARDI said Onnoghen “is the owner of sundry accounts primarily funded through cash deposits made by himself up to as recently as 10th August 2016 which appear to have been run in a manner inconsistent with financial transparency and the code of conduct for public officials”.
In the petition seen by TheCable, the group said Onnoghen made five different cash deposits of $10,000 each on March 8, 2011, into Standard Chartered Bank Account 1062650; two separate cash deposits of $5000 each followed by four cash deposits of $10,000 each on June 7, 2011; another set of five separate cash deposits of $10,000 each on June 27, 2011, and four more cash deposits of $10,000 each the following day.
They said Onnoghen did not declare his assets immediately after taking office, contrary to section 15 (1) of Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act; and that he did not comply with the constitutional requirement for public servants to declare their assets every four years during their career.
Also alleged against him is that his Code of Conduct Bureau Forms (Form CCB 1) for 2014 and 2016 were dated and filed on the same day and the acknowledgement slips were issued for both on December 14, 2016 — at which point, they said, Onnoghen had become the CJN. Onnoghen assumed office as CJN on March 6, 2017.
ARDI alleged that prior to 2016, Onnoghen appeared “to have suppressed or otherwise concealed the existence of these multiple domiciliary accounts owned by him, as well as the substantial cash balances in them”.
Account balances were listed as follows: The Standard Chartered Bank dollar account 1062650 with a balance of $391,401.28 on January 31, 2011;
The Standard Chartered Bank Euro account 5001062686 with a balance of EURO 49,971 .71 on January 31, 2011;
The Standard Chartered Bank pound sterling account 5001062679 with a balance of GBP23,409.66 on February 28, 2011;
“It is curious that these domiciliary accounts were not declared in one of the two CCB Forms filed by Justice Onnoghen on the same day, 14th December 2016,” the group said.
The Federal Government among others is accusing Nigeria’s Head of the Judiciary of refusal to declare his assets in breach of the provision of the Code of Conduct Bureau Act.
He is also being accused of maintaining Domiciliary foreign currencies account which comprised Dollars Account, Pound Sterling Account and Euro Account which are alleged to be contrary to relevant laws, especially for public office holders.
Justice Onnoghen, whose appointment suffered delay by President Muhammadu Buhari over undisclosed issues, may be the first CJN in Nigeria to be arraigned for criminal charges by the Federal Government.
A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) has been engaged by the Federal Government to prosecute Justice Onnoghen.
However, eminent lawyers have already volunteered to put their services at the disposal of the CJN.
BREAKING: I Remain Lagos Police Commissioner, It’s A New Order From Abuja – Edgal Imohimi Declares
Edgal Imohimi, has declared that he remains the Lagos State Commissioner of Police.
Imohimi told members of the press on Tuesday during a handover-takeover ceremony between him and supposed incoming CP, Kayode Egbetokun, that they were about concluding the process when a directive came from Abuja asking them to suspend the action.
Imohimi, who addressed journalists in the presence of Egbetokun at the Lagos State Police Command’s headquarters, said, “I am sure that you know Mr Kayode Egbetokun, he is an old timer in the command.
“You all know that our first job is about order and direction; we were about concluding the handing and taking over procedure when we were instructed by our bosses from Abuja to suspend action for now. So, there will be no change of guard for now. Of course, we would keep the press briefed about any development.
“But I am happy, humbled that you find it serious enough for you all to come to witness what we are doing here. I consider it an honor.”
JUST IN: Buhari Formally Names Mohammed Adamu New IGP, Decorates Him In Aso Rock [PHOTOS]
President Muhammadu Buhari has officially named Mohammed Adamu as acting Inspector-General of Police, IGP.
Buhari decorated him with the new rank during his meeting with the outgoing Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim Idris
Mohammed had served as the Commissioner of Police in Enugu State.
He was one-time director of peacekeeping operations of the Force.
He had been the Assistant Inspector General of Police, Zone Five, in Benin, Edo State.
EFCC Nabs Bishop Defrauding People In God’s Name
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Benin Zonal Office has arrested a Bishop and suspected fraudster, Giniko Obi, for allegedly defrauding thousands of people of millions of naira, in the guise of helping them “fight poverty”.
Obi, founder of Beloved Gideon Foundation, based in Agbor, Delta State, with outreaches in Bayelsa, Onitsha, Lagos, Port Harcourt, Abuja and Benin City, however, denied any involvement in fraud claiming that he was only “doing the will of God by trying to help the people fight poverty”.
According to him, it was his desire and God’s will to see people prosper that led him into operating what appears to be a Ponzi Scheme. Obi who claim to be a consecrated Bishop, possessing a diploma in theology explains thus:
“We write books such as ‘24 Nuggets for Successful Living’, ‘36 Nuggets for Successful Living’, ‘48 Nuggets for Successful Living’. We organise seminars and conferences on how to be successful. We tell the people to subscribe to these publications. If you subscribe with N10, 800, we give you N15, 000. If you subscribe with N18, 000, we give you N23, 000. I had about 30,000 subscribers and I was paying them”.
According to him, when he left Agbor for Lagos, his desire was to expand his subscription base but his subscribers were impatient.
“If they allowed me to hold the conference in Lagos, I would have paid them,” he claimed.
However, some of his victims who have continued to throng the EFCC office, since his arrest, described him as a “fraud”.
One of them, Janet Amaka Okafor, said the Bishop sold a dummy to them by claiming that he was from the famous Gideons International, based in the United States.
She said: “He organised seminars in Agbor market that he was from Gideons International and that their mission was to help eradicate poverty in Nigeria.
“He told us that unlike in the past when Gideons International distributed Bibles and Christian literatures, their mission now was to eradicate poverty”.
On how she became a victim of the scheme, Okafor, 35, who claims she has never participated in any Ponzi scheme in the past said she fell for his tricks because the “Bishop” swore with the Bible.
“The Bishop knelt down and swore with the Bible. He convinced us that he was from Texas, USA and we believed him. I subscribed with N10, 800 and he paid me N15, 000. It was after this that he engaged over 60 of us as canvassers. I brought many people including my relations and friends. All together, they invested over N5 million”.
Another victim, Bessie Nwadibire, 67, said the Bishop was very deceptive from the beginning.
“When he came to the market he gave out drinks and dashed some people money as much as N50, 000 as he said the poverty rate in Nigeria was too high,” Nwadibire said, praying and hoping that the Bishop will be made to refund her money.
Expressing gratitude that the EFCC has arrested the Bishop, she said, “Before he was arrested, we went into hiding, because all the people who invested their money into the business through me have threatened to kill me unless I refund their money. The money is over N8, 000, 000 (Eight Million Naira) only”.
The same tale of woes has become the lot of Wisdom Aderemor Okpuzor, a civil servant based in Agbor.
Okpuzor who said she had to flee her home for fear of being attacked described the Bishop as “callous and evil”.
The suspect will soon be arraigned in court. (NAN)
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