The embattled Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen.
The Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) has convicted suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Onnoghen, accused of false and non-declaration of assets.
The tribunal chairman, Danladi Umar, while giving judgement in the case on Thursday, held that the prosecution had proven the case beyond reasonable doubt.
Umar held that Onnoghen is convicted as follows:
- Removed from office as CJN and Chairman of NJC
- Banned from holding office for the period of 10 years
- The money in the 5 accounts that the defendant has failed to declare be confiscated, seized and forfeited to the FGN as it is proven that the money was gotten illegally and the defendant has not provided any evidence of how he got them.
Before his punishments were read to him, the tribunal gave opportunity for allocutus.
However, counsel to Onnoghen, Okon Efut (SAN), said the defence had nothing to say.
When tribunal asked Onnoghen if he has anything to say, he said “My Lord, I don’t”.
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Minister Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed
Chief Robert Clarke, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), has warned President Muhammadu Buhari against rejecting resignation of suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen.
DAILY POST recalls that the lawyer to the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria(CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), disclosed that his client took the decision in the interest of the judiciary.
Speaking on the development, Clarke on Channels Tv on Sunday blamed Onnoghen for his present predicament, adding that a petition by the EFCC should have warranted Onnoghen’s resignation since February.
He further noted that President Muhammadu Buhari’s Government should be given credit for taking the head of the judiciary to a tribunal but warned that a rejection of Onnoghen’s resignation will ‘create heat wave in Nigeria politics’.
Clarke said, “The government has knowledge of many things which you and I don’t have, so if the government decided to go and take the head of the judiciary to a tribunal, give them credit that they know what they were doing.
“What has created the situation that he (the CJN) has found himself today is the petition written by EFCC. That petition, he had a copy of it in February
“As at February, the CJN was aware of those charges labeled against him, at that stage when he got the EFCC’s petition, he should have resigned.
“The politicizing of the situation stopped Onnoghen from doing the needful at the time.
“Let me be honest with you, we should not allow the politics or the political climate to be overheated. I will advise Buhari as President of Nigeria to accept the resignation because if he does not do so, he is creating another heatwave in the politics of the country.” (Daily Post)
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Eniola Akinkuotu, Abuja
The Financial Times of London says President Muhammadu Buhari has been running a government that lacks a clear direction in the last four years.
The respected newspaper therefore called on the President to see his re-election as an opportunity to do the right thing.
The Financial Times said this in its editorial which has been read and shared thousands of times around the world.
It said there was no clear economic policy like that of Rwanda and Ethiopia.
It read in part, “With his renewed mandate, it is now Mr Buhari’s task to rebuild faith by running a dynamic and successful administration and by building the institutions that can lay firmer foundations than in his previous term.
“The omens from his first four years in office are not good. During that time, the former military leader ran a lacklustre administration with no obvious sense of direction. There was no coherent economic strategy of the sort being attempted by the likes of Ethiopia, Rwanda or west African neighbours Ghana and Senegal to produce the rapid growth needed to haul tens of millions of people out of poverty. It is an indictment of its leadership — both military and democratic — that the continent’s biggest oil producer should have more people living in absolute poverty than any other country in the world.”
FT advised the President to appoint more technocrats in his second term who can help turn things around.
The newspaper said the anti-corruption war must be more holistic and less selective.
FT added, “Mr Buhari’s priority this time must be to set out a coherent agenda, implemented by technocrats rather than ideologues, to turn things around. Nigeria desperately needs to create a level playing field for business in which access to foreign currency, permits, and other requirements is both predictable and rational.
“His much-vaunted crackdown on corruption must go beyond taking action against a few minor officials. Some big scalps would help. More important still is to implement systematic changes — whether by reforming institutions, using technology or by removing arbitrage opportunities — to create a more transparent environment. People should prosper in Nigeria based on what they know and how much value and employment they can create, not by their connections.” (Punch)
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The Supreme Court, on Friday, dismissed the appeal filed by the wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, Mrs. Patience Jonathan regarding the forfeited sum of $8.4m.
The apex court upheld the decisions of the Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal and affirmed an order of interim forfeiture made by the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court
The decision was contained in a unanimous judgment reached by the five-man bench of the apex court led by Justice Dattijo Muhammad.
Other members of the panel include Justices Muhammad, John Okoro, Eko, and Sidi Bage.
The court also rejected Jonathan’s prayer to strike down the provisions of section 17 of the Advanced Fee Fraud Act and other Fraud related offences Act, which was relied on by the Federal High Court to issue the order of interim forfeiture.
Ruling, Justice Kumai Aka’ahs, in the lead judgment of the apex court, read by Justice Ejembi Eko, said:
“I do not find any reason to interfere with the decision of the lower court”.
“Appellant is to go back to the trial court (the Federal High Court) to show cause why the interim order should not be made permanent,” he added.
The EFCC had last year approached the Federal High Court in Lagos with an ex parte application seeking the forfeiture of the sum of $8,435,788.84 and other various sums in various bank accounts linked to the wife of the former President. (ElombahNews)
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President Muhammadu Buhari said in Ado Ekiti on Tuesday that in spite of the difficulty his administration was facing in the fight against corruption, it would not be discouraged.
“We are fighting corruption but it has not been easy. “But we told the security agencies to keep tab on those on our watch list and ensure that no stone is left unturned to ensuring that those who have cases to answer do not escape justice,’’ Buhari said as he campaigned for re-election.
The president who was with the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo and other senior party members, told the mammoth crowd at the 15,000 capacity Ekiti Pavilion that he would not be discouraged to rid the country of graft as he promised in 2015.
He said that in addition to the fight against corruption, his administration had made efforts in the last three and a half years to revamp the economy and rebuild social infrastructure, such as roads, rail services and power generation.
Buhari said he was conscious of the promises he made four years ago, particularly the ones that had to do
with corruption, insecurity and economic diversification.
“As part of our promises, we are building roads, rail lines ,fighting corruption . We introduced Treasury Single Account and increased power supply, so Nigerians can have their own businesses.
“I want to be grateful to Ekiti voters because the two times I came here, I achieved successes . I came here in 2014 and I also came here to campaign for Fayemi, he won the governorship election, so I thank you”, he said.
The president said the efforts in infrastructure repair had started yielding positive results and urged the people to vote for All Progressives Congress(APC) to fully deliver on its promises.
Other party leaders at the rally were governors Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Gboyega Oyetola, (Osun), Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo State), Rotimi Akeredolu, (Ondo State) and Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun).
Also at the rally were a former Interim National Chairman of APC, Chief Bisi Akande, the APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Afenifere Leader, Ayo Fasanmi and Chief Olusola Oke, a party chieftain.
At the rally, a former deputy governor of Ekiti, Chief Abiodun Aluko, formally defected to APC and so did some members of Ekiti State House of Assembly, who moved from Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The lawmakers who were led by the Speaker, Mr Ebenezer Alagbada, are Mrs Cecelia Dada representing Ilejemeje Constituency and Mr Olanrewaju Olayanju from Emure Constituency.
In his address, Osinbajo said it was sad that Nigeria earned 383 billion dollars from crude oil sales between 2010 and 2014 under the leadership of Dr Goodluck Jonathan but failed to use it wisely.
“That was when we had the highest (earning) but nothing was done with it.
“If that money had been utilised judiciously, all the roads, rail lines and employment we are creating would have long been in place for Nigerians.
” Buhari built three refineries as Minister of Petroleum under military era. No government has ever added one, not even during the 16 years of PDP.
“Don’t let them deceive you, vote for a president you can trust, that is President Buhari,” Osinbajo advised.
He said that youth employment was paramount to Buhari’s government and that was the reason the administration brought about N-power scheme to empower young graduates.
The National Chairman of APC, Mr Adams Oshiomhole, said it would be a big mistake if Nigerians elected the PDP presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, in the Feb. 16 poll.
Oshiomhole said Atiku owed Nigerians explanation over the alleged stealing of millions of dollars belonging to
Petroleum Trust Development Fund which he supervised during the regime of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Fasanmi and Akande described the Reuben Fasoranti-led faction of Afenifere which endorsed Atiku, as political jobbers, who should not be taken serious.
Fayemi promised the president that he would win in Ekiti and other South-West states in the coming election and urged residents to vote massively for him.
“The Buhari-led government is planning to expand Ado-Akure road, complete the federal housing units, the federal secretariat and also extend the Lagos-Kano rail line to our dear state
” We therefore have no option than to return President Buhari, because Ekiti people are progressives,” he said. (The Sun)