Following the National Judicial Council (NJC) meeting yesterday, the council issued fresh queries over undeclared funds to the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen.
This is coming right at the heels of the hearing Justice Onnoghen’s case will be heard at the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja over his suspension and trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).
Also, the CCT, which threatened to issue a bench warrant against Justice Onnoghen for failing to appear in court on February 4, sit will sit on the case on Wednesday, February 13.
A panel of justices of the Court of Appeal presided by Justice Abdul Aboki which refused Onnoghen’s application challenging the six-count charges of non-declaration of asset at the CCB, fixed the three outstanding appeals challenging the jurisdiction of the CCT before it for today.
This is as the panel of the National Judicial Council (NJC) set up to consider the responses of the embattled CJN and the acting CJN is expected to report back to the council on Wednesday.
The NJC reconvened in an emergency yesterday to consider the three petitions against Onnoghen and Tanko Mohammed who succeeded him in acting capacity.
The NJC at its sitting set up a Preliminary Complaints Assessment Committee under its Regulation 17 to consider the responses and report back to the council. This was based on a petition to the council by the EFCC.
A statement by the Director of Information of the NJC, Soji Oye, also stated that the NJC received a new petition written by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against Justice Onnoghen.
He added that the petition has been forwarded “to him for his response within seven (7) working days.”
In a new development, a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has restrained the federal government and its anti-graft agencies from freezing the bank accounts of the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen.
The court ordered that the President, Attorney General of the Federation and Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) to desist from freezing CJN Onnoghen’s bank accounts.
Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu granted the order while ruling on a motion ex parte instituted by the Legal Defence and Assistance Project Ltd/GTE.
It would be recalled that last month, the AGF wrote a letter to the NFIU asking the unit to “restrict normal banking operations on certain accounts belonging to Onnoghen”.
The AGF said the order was in line with Executive Order 06 on the preservation of assets connected with corruption.
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