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How Buhari Govt Filed Criminal Charges Against Chief Justice Of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen Within Four Days [See Petition Details]

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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.

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‘Evil Shall No Longer Have A Voice In Nigeria; I Am Your Nightmare’ — Buhari’s Aide, Onochie Blasts Atiku

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Angered with the demands and statement released yesterday by the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the Social Media aide to President Muhammadu Buhari, Lauretta Onochie, Monday, boldly replied Atiku, noting that “evil shall no longer have a voice or say in Nigeria.”

Disclosing this in a statement obtained by Vanguard, Onochie opined that the reason why Atiku’s aides are fighting her was because she ‘is Atiku’s nightmare’.

She accused Atiku’s team of trying to make her lose focus especially now President Muhammadu Buhari’s victory is being challenged by the same person, at the election tribunal.

Recall that the former vice president’s lawyer, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), had in a letter to Onochie on Sunday, demanded five hundred million Naira, (N500m) and a written apology in six national and one international daily, as well as on all social media platforms wherein the said publication was made.

Onochie had in one of her tweets averred that Atiku was on UAE watch-list. She said that security operatives in the United Arab Emirates, (UAE) are keeping a close tab on Atiku who has been in the Middle East nation for several weeks.

She later asked a question which she later answered. What is he (Atiku) doing there? Answer, Me (Onochie): Shopping for Terrorists?

However, miffed with the allegation, Atiku’s lawyer, Ozekhome (SAN), wrote to Onochie and demanded a retraction and apology on or before 48 hours and failure to do so, he would sue Onochie for N2bn.

In the face of this threat, Onochie said; “EVIL SHALL NO LONGER HAVE A VOICE NOR SAY ANYWHERE IN NIGERIA.

(Vanguard)

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Wike Dethrones Top Monarch In Rivers Over Cult Activities

Peter Okunoren

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Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, has approved the immediate withdrawal of Certificate of Recognition and staff of office from His Royal Majesty, Chief Frank Noryaa, Gbenemene Baabe.

This was made known yesterday in a statement by Simeon Nwakaudu, Special Assistant to the Governor on Electronic Media.

According to the statement, the withdrawal of government’s recognition from HRM Noryaa followed his alleged indictment on cult-related activities within his kingdom.

“The traditional ruler was also indicted for harbouring cultists, leading to insecurity in the area,” he said.

The statement quoted Governor Wike as saying his “administration remained committed to the promotion of peace and security across the state.”

Also, the governor warned other traditional rulers and government functionaries against being indicted for promoting insecurity, saying they will face the full weight of the law.

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‘Give Us Security Votes To End Kidnapping, Banditry, Others’ – Iwo Monarch Tells Buhari

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Oluwo of Iwoland in Osun State, Oba Abdulrasheed Akanbi, has called on the Federal Government to make provision for security votes for the traditional institution to help fight insecurity in the country.

Akanbi, who spoke to journalists in Osogbo yesterday, said the traditional rulers were closer to the grassroots and were privy to the intelligence needed to curb crimes in communities.

He said: “Traditional rulers should be empowered to domesticate security at the grassroots which constitutes higher percent of the hideouts for kidnappers. Co-opting monarchs will unavoidably decimate security threat.

“Traditional institution should be given security vote to engage local hunters, vigilante, the Agbekoyas, trusted local Odua Peoples Congress (OPC), among others.

“In my own capacity, I am trying my utmost best in my domain but the institution I represent deserves security funding to act more.

“I have personally arrested a criminal in my domain and handed him over to the police. I know the nooks and crannies of my city. No criminal can survive with illegality here. I have instilled the fear in them and this has decimated atrocities in Iwo. I am ready to do more if empowered by engaging trusted local security details.

“The police saddled with this primary responsibility is underfunded and under staffed. Nigeria of over 200 million population is parading about 300,000 policemen. The police should be equipped with modern tools and should be paid good salaries and as well be assured of job security to motivate them for maximal performance.

“Government should provide surveillance helicopters to aid technical detective assignments by the police, most especially when searching kidnappers’ hideouts.”

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