Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Monday, April 22, 2019

Nigeria's Chief Justice Onnoghen Gets the Boot

Chief Justice Walter Onnoghen who was suspended by President Muhammadu Buhari for failing to declare all his assets, has been found guilty by the Code of Conduct Tribunal in a two-hour judgement, declaring that Onnoghen violated the Code of Conduct Bureau rules for public officers of his status and has among others, barred him from public office for ten years.

From The Guardian, Abuja

Nigeria: CCT Convicts, Sacks Onnoghen As Chief Justice, NJC Chairman


The allegation of false and non-assets declaration against Justice Walter Onnoghen, which began like a bad dream in January, came to a dramatic end yesterday at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).Onnoghen watched helplessly as the tribunal headed by Mr. Danladi Umar, a non-judicial officer, found him guilty of the six-count charge brought against him by the Federal Government through the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB).

The tribunal in a unanimous judgment also ordered the removal of Onnoghen as Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) and chairman, National Judicial Council (NJC). He was also barred from holding public office for 10 years for contravening the CCB laws in his Assets Declaration Form. Onnoghen will, in addition, forfeit to the Federal Government, various sums of money found in his five bank accounts with Standard Chartered Bank, having failed to declare them…

Reactions have been trailing the ruling. Ibadan-based lawyer, Fatai Akinsanmi, said: "I was not shocked because I had been following the matter. When the news broke, many thought it was witch-hunting but the unfolding scenarios show it was not a witch-hunt. It is a good development if the number one judicial officer can be prosecuted and judgment is served. The CCT ought to investigate individual claims in their Code of Conduct form."

Lagos-based rights group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), welcomed the verdict… 

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