Group warns CCT against persecuting CJN Onnoghen

Brave Dickson

Following plans by the Code of Conduct Tribunal to arraign the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen on Monday on alleged falsification of assets declaration, an advocacy group has advised the tribunal not to persecute him but should rather prosecute him if found culpable.

In his views, the Chancellor, International Society for Social Justice and Human Rights, Omenazu Jackson, maintained that nobody is above the law, adding that the prosecution of Justice Onnoghen should be void of partiality.

The Port Harcourt based social commentator also frowned at moves by some groups to protest against the trial of the CJN, describing such protest as unnecessary.

“The planned protest I heard some groups want to embark on will not help us as a nation. When should we stop thinking along ethnic lines and start thinking like a nation?

“Some said it is not good to prosecute such high profile Nigerian barely few weeks to the general elections. To me, there is nothing wrong in that. So long as it is done in accordance with the law,” Dr Jackson said

The country’s Chief Justice whose travail sequeled a petition brought before the Code of Conduct Tribunal by an Anti -Corruption and Research Based Data Initiative is to be prosecuted for operating three domiciliary accounts in Standard Chartered Bank accounts 1062650; 5001062686 and account 5001062679 , all with a total balance of about three million dollars.

The petition alleged that, “Onnoghen was the owner of sundry accounts primarily funded through cash deposits made by himself up till as recently as 10th August , 2016 , which appear to have been run in a manner inconsistent with financial transparency and the code of conduct for public officials.”

The petition further said Justice Onnoghen made five different cash deposits of $ 10, 000 each on March 8 , 2011 , into Standard Chartered Bank Account 1062650; two separate cash deposits of $ 5, 000 each followed by four cash deposits of $ 10, 000 each on June 7 , 2011 respectively.

A statement released by the Code of Conduct Bureau said the planned arraignment followed an application filed before the Code of Conduct Tribunal Chairman on Friday for the trial to commence against the Chief Justice of Nigeria on six counts.

It said service of summons has been effected on the defendant, adding that, “the three- man panel led by Justice Danladi Umar will commence the trial on Monday , January 14, 2019, at its courtroom , situated along Jabi Daki biyu , Saloman Lar Way, Abuja, at about 10am.

“The application was filed on Friday by the operatives of the CCB , dated January 11, 2019 , and signed by Musa Ibrahim Usman and Fatima Danjuma Ali (Esq) , containing six – count charges all bordering on non – declaration of assets January 12 , 2019.”

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