DAILY FILE – Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen has responded to the accusations of false assets declaration by the Code of Conduct Bureau, clarifying that he forgot to update his asset declaration forms, according to some reports.
“My asset declaration form numbers SCN 00014 and SCN 00005 were declared on the same day, 14/12/2016 because I forgot to make a declaration of my assets after the expiration of my 2005 declaration in 2009. Following my appointment as acting CJN in November, 2016, the need to declare my assets anew made me to realize the mistake.
“I then did the declaration to cover the period in default. I did not include my standard chartered bank account in SCN 000014 because I believed they were not opened.
“I did not make a fresh declaration of asset after my substantive appointment as CJN because I was under the impression that my SCN 000015 was to cover that period of four years which includes my term as CJN,” Mr Onnoghen said in his statement dated January 11″, Onnoghen stated, in his response to the CCB query.
The online news platform, Premium Times published snippets of Onnoghen’s response.
Nevertheless, the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) has scheduled Jan. 14 for his arraignment.
Meanwhile, at least 150 Senior Advocates of Nigeria, SANs, have volunteered to defend the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen before Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT on Monday.
The CJN will be arraigned over alleged failure to declare his assets as required by law and for operating Bank Domiciliary Foreign Currency Accounts.
Constitutional lawyer, Sebastine Hon, SAN told Daily Trust on Saturday said the number of eminent lawyers that have volunteered to defend the CJN might even be more than 150.
Mr Hon described the six-count criminal charge against the CJN as a deliberate attempt to gag the judiciary.
In a statement on Saturday, Mr Hon also urged the CJN not to heed to what he termed as an “unholy call” for him to step aside.
“While I know that the Chief Justice of Nigeria does not enjoy immunity from criminal prosecution, I see this move by the Federal Government as dangerously political and tendentious.
“Suddenly, we woke to see a petition leaked to the informal or social media, allegedly received by the Code of Conduct on 9th January, 2019.
“Suddenly, we are told charges have been filed against the CJN. Suddenly the Presidency is reportedly asking him to step aside! Was he interrogated or interviewed and his own reactions obtained?”
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