A civil society group, Anti-Corruption and Research Based Data Initiative (ARDI), has launched a legal move to remove Walter Onnoghen as the chief justice of Nigeria.
ARDI has petitioned the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), listing a number of allegations against Onnoghen — notably false declaration of assets.
The group said its petition, dated January 7, 2019, became necessary “bearing in mind the imminence of the 2019 General Elections and the overwhelming roles of the Judicial Arm both before and after”.
The petition was stamped “received” by the office of the CCB chairman on January 9, 2019.
The CCB is empowered by the constitution to investigate public officers, after which it would forward its findings to the appropriate body for trial if the allegations are confirmed.
What are the core allegations?
ARDI said Onnoghen “is the owner of sundry accounts primarily funded through cash deposits made by himself up to as recently as 10th August 2016 which appear to have been run in a manner inconsistent with financial transparency and the code of conduct for public officials”.
The group said Onnoghen made five different cash deposits of $10,000 each on March 8, 2011, into Standard Chartered Bank Account 1062650; two separate cash deposits of $5000 each followed by four cash deposits of $10,000 each on June 7, 2011; another set of five separate cash deposits of $10,000 each on June 27, 2011, and four more cash deposits of $10,000 each the following day.