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Onnoghen-Gate: Biase Monarchs Write Buhari As FG Probes CJN’s Salary Accounts

Monarchs in Biase Local Government Area under the aegis of Biase Traditional Rulers Council (BTRC) have contacted the president of the Federal Republic, Gen. Muhammedu Buhari over the ups-and-downs rocking one of their sons, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon. Walter Nkanu Onnoghen who is currently on the run for allegedly refusing to declare his assets as prescribed by law, resulting to confiscation of five (5) of his bank accounts pursuant to the Presidential Executive Order 6 of 2018 pending final determination of the case against him at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT/ABJ/1/19, Federal Republic of Nigeria v. Hon. Justice Onnoghen Nkanu Walter Samuel).

The monarchs, in a memo entitled: “Arraignment And Trial Of Hon. Justice Mr. Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen” sent to the presidency and made available to Cross River Daily described the FG/CJN fallout as “a case of witch hunt, victimization and vendetta”, even so as they condemned the purported allegations levied on the CJN before the CCT while considering it a calculated attempt to intimidate, harass and embarrass their son out of office.

Signed by His Royal Majesty, Onun (Apostle) Nicholas Odum (JP), the Onun of Biase and Paramount Ruler on behalf of Biase Traditional Rulers Council, CRS, the memo believes that the petition and entire charges which took place within three working days only “explains the primitive desperation and determination of the presidency to oust the CJN without due process”.

The monarchs threw their weight behind the CJN, affirming that “no other Nigerian is better qualified to head the Nation’s Judiciary than our son”; thus, calling on The Presidency to withdraw all the charges forthwith.

Meanwhile, what looks like the Federal Government are battle-ready on chasing the CJN helter-skelter is the recent launch of probe into his salary account.

“The probe predates the advent of the Bank Verification Number initiative of the Central Bank of Nigeria and is expected to expose some alleged questionable deposits made into the account of the embattled CJN. A fact sheet from the NFIU to the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), stated that nearly N100m passed through Onnoghen’s salary account with Union Bank Plc between September 2005 and October 2016.

“Onnoghen’s salary in 2005 was N240, 202 but rose to N751, 082.37 in February 2008. However, the funds in his account were said to have surpassed his salary.

“The document read in part, “His salary in 2005 was N240, 202. 20 and it rose to N751, 082.37 in February 2008. The salary remains within range till date.

“However, the turnover in the account from September 2005 to October 2016 was N91, 962, 362.49.

“He did not spend from the salary account from March 2015 to October 2016. The salary and allowances accumulated to N22, 520, 636.27 in October 2016 from N6, 132, 885.24 in March of the same year.

“According to the NFIU, investigations showed that the funds deposited in the account of the CJN are questionable and probably proceeds of crime.

“According to the NFIU, investigations showed that the funds deposited in the account of the CJN are questionable and probably proceeds of crime.

“From the investigations conducted so far, it is plausible that the payments into the various accounts are bribes. This is because the sources of inflows into his accounts other than the salary account in Union Bank are unknown and probably fraudulent and the nature of the transactions (including structured payments) are not typical of the transactions of a public servant, the statement added.

“The Federal Government had last week filed charges against Onnoghen for allegedly failing to declare some assets before the Code of Conduct Bureau,” Sunday Punch reports.

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