Divergent Opinions Of Nigerians Over CCT Judgement On Former Chief Justice, Walter Onnoghen

Nigerians online have continued to react to the judgement of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) which convicted former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, after finding him guilty of false assets declaration.

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The tribunal led by Danladi Umar ruled that Mr Onnoghen should forfeit the funds in the five bank accounts which he was accused of not disclosing.

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The tribunal said he acquired the funds fraudulently since he could not provide evidence on how he acquired them.

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Relying on the provision of Section 23 of the code of conduct law, the tribunal ordered that Mr Onnoghen should not be allowed to occupy public office for the next 10 years.

Before now, the embattled justice had sent a notice of retirement to President Muhammadu Buhari in line with the recommendation of the National Judicial Council.

While some Nigerians charged the Federal government to probe other corrupt officials in the country, others mocked the ruling.

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In the same vein, Onnoghen was convicted on the six counts preferred against him.

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Specifically, the Federal Government, acting through the Code of Conduct Bureau, had, in the charges filed on January 11, accused Onnoghen in the first count of failure to declare his assets to the bureau between June 2005 and December 14, 2016.

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In the rest of the five counts, the defendant was alleged to have falsely declared his assets on December 14, 2016, by allegedly omitting to declare his domiciliary dollar, euro and pound sterling-denominated accounts, as well as his two naira accounts, all maintained with the Standard Chattered Bank (Nig.) Ltd.

Before passing the sentence, the tribunal chairman noted that Onnoghen, who only called one witness, failed to dispute the evidence of the three prosecution witnesses.

He said, “The tribunal, having considered the case of the prosecution and documents tendered without objection, find the exhibits tendered worthy of consideration.

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“The evidence of Prosecution Witness 1, Prosecution Witness 2 and Prosecution Witness 3 was not disputed.

“The statement of the defendant made in his handwriting alluding to forgetfulness to declare the five accounts is enough to hold that the defendant clearly contravened the Code of Conduct for Public Officer.”

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Convicting the erstwhile CJN, the tribunal chairman said, “Having regard to Section 23(2) of the Code of Conduct Tribunal and Bureau Act, the defendant has clearly contravened the Code of Conduct for Public Officers and he is here by convicted.”

 

Source: Premium Times

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