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Onnoghen To Forfeit Money In His Accounts, Banned From Holding Public Office For 10 Years

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The Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) on Thursday ordered the forfeiture of all the money in the account of the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, which he did not declare.

Delivering Judgment, Justice Danladi Umar, the CCT Chairman, found Onnoghen guilty on the six counts preferred against him by the Federal Government.

Umar also banned Onnoghen from holding any public office for 10 years.

The CCT also ordered the removal of Onnoghen as CJN and as Chairman of the National Judicial Council.

Onnoghen, who was Nigeria’s 17th Chief Justice, was arraigned by the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) following a petition brought against him by a group, Anti-Corruption and Research Based Data Initiative, headed by a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Enugu State, Denis Aghanya.

Onnoghen was charged on six counts for allegedly failing to declare some of his accounts in the asset declaration form submitted to the CCB in December 2016.

According to the charge, Onnoghen also failed to declare his assets after the expiration of his declaration form filled in 2005.

Onnoghen’s trials started when a petition was filed by the civil rights group at the CCB alleging that he owns “sundry accounts primarily funded through cash deposits made by himself up to as recently as August 10, 2016, which appear to have been run in a manner inconsistent with financial transparency and the code of conduct for public officials.”

The trial commenced on January 14, 2019 at Code of Conduct Tribunal, but Onnoghen was absent.

The case was then adjourned to the following week because Onnoghen faulted the summons procedure.

The next hearing was slated for January 22, 2019, but he failed to show up in court again.

Following his absence again, President Muhammadu Buhari suspended him on January 26 and appointed Tanko Ibrahim as the acting CJN.

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