President Muhammadu Buhari has revealed what his government would do with the monies discovered in the foreign accounts of the immediate Chief Justice of Nigeria Justice Walter Onnoghen.
Onnoghen was suspended by Buhari on January 25, 2019, after it was discovered that he failed to declare his entire assets which are against the rule of engagement.
Public officials are required by Nigerian Law to declare their assets on assumption of office.
The troubled former CJN was later suspended and charged with false assets declaration at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday in Abuja met with the leadership of the Afenifere, where he explained why the former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen was suspended before his voluntary retirement on May 28.@MBuhari pic.twitter.com/baLKDAwi5m
— @Everycloud (@aktdbanj) June 26, 2019
The action of the president sparked outrage and condemnation, some people claimed it was politically motivated as the country was preparing for crucial general elections.
However, in one of the most elaborate reasons Buhari fired the former CNJ, the president said all the recovered money from Onnoghen and other alleged corrupt politicians would be put in Nigeria’s treasury “to make it impossible for anyone to return such to the looters.”
Recalled that Onnoghen was thoroughly investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) where several foreign accounts were traced to him.
Its all Interesting to note, that all bodies that registered their body under the umbrella of International Observers were all agents of @atiku whose plan was to perpetualize fraud and electronically rig @MBuhari with the help of Justice Walter Onnoghen.
— Sir Ferdinand Rogers (@ayekhemheferdi1) June 16, 2019
Recovered monies are forfeited to the Federal Government after obtaining a court order. Buhari said apart from recovered monies, his administration would also sell illegally acquired properties within and outside the country.
He said his plan to sell recovered properties was to stop a situation whereby recovered properties are returned to the looters.
The president who sounded angry over the Onnoghen’s case said he wondered what sort of conscience some Nigerians have by sitting, presiding and locking people up for years “when you are not doing what the constitution says you should do by occupying that vital position.”
Since Nigeria’s Independence in 1960, no Nigeria’s president had suspended an incumbent CJN. Buhari took the controversial action which left legal luminaries in the country divided over the matter.
While some of them hinged their argument on the Independence of the judiciary, a few others said an alleged corrupt Justice had no reason to remain in office.
The president, who is on his second term, stated this in Aso Rock when leaders of Yoruba pan socio-political group Afenifere paid him a courtesy visit.
Speaking on behalf of the visiting group, a former Senator, Olabiyi Durojaiye, commended the president for making June 12 an official public holiday in recognition of one of their sons Late Chief MKO Abiola whose election was annulled, jailed, and died in military detention of Late Gen. Sani Abacha.