February 6, 2023

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Asset declaration : FG moves to arraign CJN

Embattled CJN Onnoghen

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Asset declaration : FG moves to arraign  CJN, Onnoghen

By Steve Oko

Barring any last minute change of mind ,the Federal Government will this morning ( January 14, 2019), arraign the Chief Justice of Nigeria,  CJN,  Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen , before the Code of Conduct Tribunal,  CCT over alleged non declaration of assets.

The Federal Government has since last week asked the CJN to immediately vacate his exalted office as Head of the Nation’s judiciary until he acquits himself of the charges against him.

However there has been public outcry and condemnation against the action of the federal government but it appears bent on edging out the CJN.

In its desperation to force Justice Onnoghen out of office, the Federal Government has perfected arrangement to arraign him before the Justice Danladi Yakubu led- Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) in Abuja.

 

The CJN is also being accused of  operating Bank Domiciliary Foreign Currency Accounts, among four other charges bring it to a total of six count charge.

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The CJN has since been served last Friday at his official residence in Abuja preparatory for his appearance at the tribunal today.

But South South Governors had after their emmergency meeting on Sunday in Bayelsa asked him to ignore the court summons.

They dismissed the charges as politically motivated and an attempt by the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration to intimidate judges and the judiciary ahead of the general elections .

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 Nnoghen whose appointment suffered unprecedented 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.

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Apart from putting the Chief Justice in the dock on Monday, motion on notice is to be filed against him praying the tribunal to order him to vacate office and recuse himself office so as to prevent alleged interference in his arraignment and trial.

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria names withheld has been engaged by Federal Government to lead the onslaught against justice Onnoghen, while PRNigeria could not ascertain names of those who will lead the defence team for CJN.

However, it is gathered that eminent lawyers have volunteered to put their services at the disposal of Justice Onnoghen in the bid to rescue him from the claws of the government.

It would be recalled the President of the Senate of Nigeria, Dr. Bukola Saraki was in 2015 shortly he emerged the Head of the Legislature arraigned at the tribunal but the charges against him were quashed and he was discharged and acquitted by the tribunal on the ground that the charges against him by government were based on hearsay that could not stand in the face of the law.

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Saraki’s discharge and acquittal was upheld by the Supreme Court under the leadership of Justice Onnoghen.

Many prominent Nigerians including former Vice President,  Atiku Abubakar have condemned the planned arraignment and advised the FG to tread with caution .

Some critics have also said the action of FG is suspicious and lends credence to the allegation by the opposition that the action was intended for the FG to install a friendly CJN that would validate the outcome of the 2019 polls after it must have been rigged in favour of the President and his party.

 

Steve Oko, Publisher/C.E.O, WaWa News Global. For more information on advert placement and news coverage, contact us on: 08038725600, or via email stevemanofgod2000@yahoo.com; wawanewsglobal@gmail.com Always read WaWa News Global - Your most dependable online news platform for the latest breaking news in Nigeria.

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