Walter Onnoghen Appeals Against CCT’s Judgment

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Walter Onnoghen
Walter Onnoghen

Former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, has filed a 16-ground appeal against the judgment of the Code of Conduct Tribunal.

The judgment ordered the removal of Justice Walter Onnoghen as the Chief Justice of Nigeria and also barred him from holding public office for ten years for contravening the Code of Conduct Bureau Act.

In the appeal filed against the federal republic of Nigeria at the Abuja division of the Court of Appeal, Justice Onnoghen challenged the CCT erred in dismissing his application challenging its jurisdiction.

The Code of Conduct Tribunal on Thursday found Justice Walter Onnoghen guilty of contravening the Code of Conduct for judicial officers.

Consequently, the court barred him from holding public office for 10 years, and forfeited to the federal government the various sums of money found in his five bank accounts with the Standard Chartered Bank which he was said to have failed to declare.

Delivering judgment, Danladi Umar, the Chairman of the Tribunal, held that the admission by Justice Onnoghen that he forgot to declare the bank accounts in the form CCB001 was a clear contravention of Section 23 of the CCB Act.

Umar held that the prosecution through the witnesses and exhibits tendered and admitted established beyond reasonable doubt that the convicted CJN was in grave error by his failure to declare the bank accounts as required by law.

By the pronouncement of the Tribunal, Onnoghen is to forfeit to the federal government N26.8 million, $137,700 and 13,730 pounds sterling found in his domiciliary account with the Standard Chartered Bank accounts which were said to have been maintained since 2009.

Chairman of the CCT in the unanimous judgment said that the Tribunal ordered the forfeiture of the various currencies in the accounts because
justice Onnoghen failed to disclose the source of the money through out the trial.

The tribunal also ruled on the motion filed by the defendant challenging its Jurisdiction, which the tribunal dismissed for lacking in merit.

The tribunal also dismissed a motion seeking him to recuse himself from the trial, stating that if there is no chairman, there is no CCT.

The federal government had, on January 10, 2019, filed a six-count charge bordering on false declaration of assets against Justice Onnoghen, and called three witnesses to establish its case against the convicted defendant.