The Federal Government has asked the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Justice Walter Nkanu Onnoghen to immediately vacate his office as Head of the nation’s judiciary, accusing him of failing to declare his assets in breach of the provision of the Code of Conduct Bureau and for operating foreign currencies account which comprised Dollars Account, Pound Sterling Account and Euro Account alleged to be contrary to relevant laws, especially for public office holders.
As reported by TVC, Justice Onnoghen will be arraigned before the Justice Danladi Yakubu led- Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) in Abuja on Monday, in what has been described as a move to force him out of office so as to prevent alleged interference in his arraignment and trial.
PR Nigeria also reports that charges has on Friday been filed and served on him at his official residence in Abuja ahead of his appearance at the tribunal, while some eminent lawyers have volunteered to put their services at the disposal of Justice Onnoghen in a bid to rescue him from the claws of the government, as there are reports that apart from arraigning him for criminal charges, a motion on notice is to be filed against him praying the tribunal to order him to vacate office.
Justice Onnoghen whose appointment suffered unprecedented delay by President Muhammadu Buhari may be the second head of an arm of government in Nigeria to be arraigned for criminal charges by the Federal Government, after the President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki was in 2015 shortly after he emerged the Head of the country’s legislature was arraigned at the tribunal but the charges against him were quashed and he was discharged and acquitted by the tribunal on the ground that the charges against him by government were based on hearsay that could not stand in the face of the law.
Temidayo Taiwo-Sidiq is a Political Journalist, Analyst and Social Change Advocate with major interest in Nigerian Politics, Governance and Sports.