CJN Walter Onnoghen for trial over false asset declaration on Monday

Justice Walter Onnoghen

Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Onnoghen, will on Monday appear before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) over allegation of false asset declaration.

A statement by spokesman of the tribunal, Ibraheem Al-Hassan, on Saturday, confirmed the scheduled arraignment.

Mr Al-Hassan said the arraignment was sequel to an application filed by the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) on Friday for the trial to commence against Justice Onnoghen on a six count charge.

He added that service of summons had been effected to the defendant, while the three-man panel led by Justice Danladi Umar will commence the trial at the CCT headquarter in Abuja at about 10:00am.

“The application was filed yesterday by the operatives of CCB, dated 11th January, 2019 and signed by Musa Ibrahim Usman (Esq) and Fatima Danjuma Ali (Esq), containing 6 count charges all borders on non-declaration of asset,” part of the statement reads.

Onnoghen is accused of maintaining domiciliary accounts in dollars, pound sterling and euro.

The case is built on a petition filed by a civil society group, Anti-Corruption and Research Based Data Initiative

The petition dated January 7, 2019, accuses Onnoghen of managing several accounts through which he has been making transfers of local and foreign currencies in “a manner inconsistent with financial accuracy,” the petition signed by the group’s executive secretary, Denis Aghanya, said.

It was also learnt that the FG in addition plan to file a motion on notice praying the tribunal to order the CJN to vacate office and recuse himself from office so as to prevent alleged interference in his arraignment and trial.

If arraigned, Onnoghen would be the first chief justice of Nigeria to be prosecuted in office over corruption or asset declaration allegations.

The 68-year-old is due to retire as chief justice in 2020 at 70.