Tribunal finds Onnoghen guilty, bars him from public office for 10 years

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The Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), Thursday, convicted   Justice Walter Onnoghen, erstwhile chief justice of Nigeria (CJN), for false asset declaration in breach of the provisions of the Code of Conduct for public officers. 

Delivering its judgement, the three-man panel headed by Danladi Umar, CCT chairman, found him guilty of six counts preferred against him by the federal government.

Umar ordered that Onnoghen be removed from office of CJN and banned from holding public office for 10 years as well as removed him  as chairman of the National Judicial Council (NJC), and chairman of Federal Judicial Service Commission.

The tribunal also ordered the forfeiture of the money in the five accounts which the defendant failed to declare as part of his assets.

In his ruling , Umar held that the federal government had proved beyond reasonable doubt that Onnoghen breached the code of conduct for public officers.

“The defendant has clearly contravened the code  for public officers,” he said.

“The prosecution has discharged the onus placed on it and it has proved its case beyond doubt. The defence has failed to prove that the chairman is biased.”        

The chairman said the defence could not prove how Onnoghen legitimately owned the funds found in the five accounts domiciled in Stanbic Bank.

It was not clear at the time of filing this report if Onnoghen would appeal the tribunal’s decision.    

 It would be recalled that Onnoghen had earlier resigned from office.

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