Nigeria Chief Justice Speaks On Why He Is Being Persecuted By Government
By Olumidagreaton January 12, 2019
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Walter Onnoghen, Chief Justice of Nigeria has claimed that he forgot to update his asset declaration at the expiry of his 2005 declaration.
The Chief Justice made this claim in his response to the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) which is accusing him of false asset declaration.
“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,” he said in his statement to the CCB.
According to him, following his appointment as acting CJN in November 2016, the need to declare his assets anew made him to realize the mistake.
“I then did the declaration to cover the period in default. I did not include my Standard Charted 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,” Onnoghen said in his statement dated January 11.
In a statement by the Code of Conduct Tribunal on Saturday, Onnoghen would be arraigned for alleged false asset charge on Monday — seven days after the petition was brought.
His appointment as acting CJN came amidst criticism of President Muhammadu Buhari’s failure to forward his name to the Senate for confirmation as the most senior judge.
On February 8, 2017 Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who was the acting president then sent Onnoghen’s name for confirmation to the Senate, while his name was eventually confirmed by the Senate on March 1.
He was subsequently sworn into office as Nigeria’s 17th CJN on March 8, 2017.