NJC Tells Buhari to Retire Onnoghen Over $1.7m cash

CJN Walter Onnoghen Chief Justice of Nigeria , Ex-CJN Onnoghen Cries Out
CJN Walter Onnoghen Chief Justice of Nigeria

The National Judicial Council (NJC) has really useful the obligatory retirement of the Chief Justice of Nigeria Justice Walter Onnoghen, primarily based on “incontrovertible” findings on him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission( EFCC).

It requested President Muhammadu Buhari to give impact to the advice instantly.

But the NJC urged the President to permit Justice Onnoghen retain his seat as a former CJN within the Council of State.

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The council additionally mentioned the CJN must be retired with full advantages.

According to a supply, who pleaded not to be named “because of the sensitivity of the matter”, the obligatory retirement of Justice Onnoghen was the foremost spotlight of NJC’s assembly yesterday.

All NJC members have been mentioned to have determined not to comment on the assembly as a result of “it would not be right to do so when a letter has been sent to the President on their decision.” He ought to get the letter earlier than any comment, the supply mentioned.


The supply mentioned: “The NJC has been in a position to navigate essentially the most difficult second for the nation’s judiciary by recommending obligatory retirement of Onnoghen with full advantages.

“The NJC particularly demanded that the CJN be allowed to take his eminent place within the Council of State like his predecessors.

“If these recommendations are accepted, the Executive may be on the same page with the Judiciary by staying action on the ongoing trial and other pending trials of the CJN.”

The NJC might have adopted a “win-win approach” to be sure that the Executive and the Judiciary are on the identical web page.”

Another supply conversant in how the NJC arrived at its decision mentioned the “EFCC’s report on Justice Onnoghen was damning and incontrovertible”.

The anti-graft company accused the CJN of “being in possession of funds which are fairly not attributable to his known, provable and legitimate source of income”.

The opening of a greenback account in Standard Chartered Bank for the CJN by a lawyer, Joe Agi, with $30,000 was mentioned to be unhealthy.

The EFCC had accused Justice Onnoghen of being unable to account for curious deposits in his accounts.

The anti-graft fee alleged that deposits had collected to $1,716, 000.

The quantities within the mentioned account have been deposited as follows: $74,200 (2009); $291,800 (2010); $340,000 (2011); $625,000 (2012); $298,000 (2013); $40,000 (2015) and $47,000 (2016). The whole was $1,716,000.

The company additionally accused Justice Onnoghen of depositing $1,716,000 in a United States greenback account operated with the Standard Chartered Bank in 2009, marked as exhibit P4 C, between 2009 and 2016.

The petition mentioned: “From the proof on document, it’s clear that the Respondent failed to declare all of the accounts and funds in exhibit P4-P4D when he declared his 2014 asset in November 2016. Your lordship will observe that the Respondent solely declared his wage account with the Union Bank exhibit P3 and failed to declare P4-P4D, that are the accounts that warehoused funds which are far above the Respondent’s recognized and provable lawful earnings.

“My lords, by the provisions of Rule 1.2 of the Code of Conduct for Judicial Officers, it’s clear that as a result of members of the general public anticipate a excessive customary of conduct from a choose, the Respondent is below the duty to keep away from impropriety and the looks of impropriety in all his actions each in his skilled and personal life. It is our submission my lords, that any conduct of the Respondent that give rise to the looks of impropriety is a judicial misconduct and similar is punishable below the Code of Conduct for Judicial Officers.

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“It is our humble submission that the petitioner proved earlier than this Honourable Panel that the Respondent was in possession of funds that are pretty not attributable to his recognized, proveable and legit supply of earnings. The proof exhibits that my lord earned a month-to-month wage within the sum of N750,819.87, which is about N9,000,000.00 every year. My lords, as proven in exhibit P10A web page 14 paragraph XXVI, the Respondent solely earned the sum of N91,962,362.49 as wage between September 2005 and October 2016. It can be on document that the exhibit P3 is the wage account of my lord whereby his salaries are paid.

“My lords, the proof earlier than this Honourable Committee exhibits clearly that the Respondent opened United State Dollars account with the Standard Chartered Bank in 2009, exhibit P4 C. This USD account was opened by Mr. Joe Agi SAN and the primary cash depositor of United States of America {dollars} into the mentioned account. We humbly refer my lords to the entry of the 29th day of June,2009.

“Though the Respondent claimed that he was the one who gave the realized SAN, Joe Agi the $30,000.00 to deposit to exhibit P4C, the Respondent couldn’t give any affordable rationalization as to the supply of this cash. My lords, the Respondent admitted below cross-examination that the USD was not his wage and that he solely obtained {dollars} as estacodes which is supposed for his official journeys.

“My lords, upon the opening of the USD account exhibit P4C, a variety of cash deposits in Dollars have been made to this account. The proof earlier than my lords is that between 2009 and 2016 a variety of cash deposits have been made into exhibit P4C.

“My lords, from the evidence before this Honourable Panel, it is clear that these huge sums of money were not earned by the Respondent as his salaries and allowances. It is our humble submission that the burden of proving the legitimate source or origin of the sum of $1,716,000.00 lies heavily on the Respondent.”

The quantities within the mentioned account have been deposited as follows: $74,200 (2009); $291,800 (2010); $340,000 (2011); $625,000 (2012); $298,000 (2013); $40,000 (2015) and $47,000 (2016). The whole was $1,716,000.



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