Embattled suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Onnoghen, has explained the sources of the foreign currencies deposited in his domiciliary accounts.
Onnoghen was suspended by President Muhammadu Buhari on a directive by the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), before whom Onnoghen is standing trial over allegations of the fraudulent declaration of assets.
According to Sun newspaper, in a ‘Cautionary Statement Form’ filed at the Department of Intelligence Investigation and Monitoring, Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), in Abuja, Onnoghen said the deposits in his dollar account were from trading in foreign exchange (forex), AGRICODE, while other investment returns were from proceeds of his investments.
This was contained in a voluntary statement he made at CCB.
In the statement, he specifically explained that “the deposits made in my US Dollar account No. 87000106250 with STD. Chartered Bank of $10,000 at different intervals of June 28, 2011 were sourced partly from my reserve and saving from my estacodes, including medical expenses.
“The same applies to my deposit of July 28, 2011, of $10,000 twice. It is important to state that prior to my opening the US dollar account, I had foreign currency, which I kept at home, due to the fact that there existed a government that proscribed the operation of foreign currency account by public officers including judicial officers.
“It was when I got to know that the policy had changed that I had to open the said account. Upon opening the account, I was made to understand that I cannot pay in more than $10,000 at a time and per payment slip. I cannot remember the total amount I had on reserve at the time, but it spread from my practice days as a private legal practitioner from 1979 to 1989.
“Some of the deposits are a result of forex trading, AGRICODE, and other investment returns were from proceeds of my investments into them. The withdrawals in the account are partly to pay children’s fees, upkeep abroad and further investments. My British pound and euro accounts with Chartered Standard Bank are savings accounts.
“In the January 1, 2019 document, the suspended jurist, who wrote his statement on January 11, 2019, between 12:30pm to 1: 45pm added: ‘I, Walter S. N. Onnoghen, of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, hereby, voluntarily depose to the statement averred herein, knowing that whatever I write or state may be tendered against me as evidence in court’.
“I also volunteer to state that the statement was not taken in evidence from me under duress but after the administering officer had explained and made known the details of the allegations against me.”
In his response to allegations of non-declaration of his assets, Justice Onnoghen added: “My asset declaration for numbers. SCN000014 and SCN.0000 5 were declared on the same day, December 14, 2016, because I forgot to make a declaration of May 2005 of my assets after the expiration of my 2005 declaration in 2009.
“Following my appointment as acting Chief Justice of Nigeria in November 2016, the need to declare my assets anew made me realise the mistake and then did the declarations to cover the period in default.
“I did not include my Standard Chartered Bank Account in SCN. 000014 because I believed they were not opened during the period covered by the declaration.
“I did not make a fresh declaration of asset after my substantive appointment as CJN because I was under the impression that my SCN. 000015 was to cover the period of four years; which includes my leave as CJN.”
Meanwhile, the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) will resume sitting on the matter on February 4, 2019.
President Buhari appointments new DG for NESREA
President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed Prof. Aliyu Jauro as the new Director General/ Chief Executive Officer of the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA).
NESREA’s Deputy Director (Information), Oyofo Sule, in a statement on Monday, said that Jauro takes over from Dr. Lawrence Chidi Anukam whose tenure expired on the 17th of February 2019.
According to the statement, Jauro, before the appointment, was Deputy Director at the National Centre for Petroleum Research and Development, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, (A.T.B.U) Bauchi.
He holds a Bachelor of Tech. Degree in Industrial Chemistry from A.T.B.U Bauchi and MSc and PhD Degrees in Industrial Chemistry from the same University.
He joined the university as a Graduate Assistant in 1997 and rose through the ranks to become a Prof in Industrial Chemistry in 2014.
Addressing the Management and Staff on assumption of office, the new Director General declared, “I am here to move the Agency to the next level.
“I expect high standard of professionalism, integrity and dedication to duty.”
He promised to operate an open-door policy, stressing that he will bring his wealth of experience to bear in ensuring that NESREA lives up to its mandate.
He commended the acting Director General, Mrs. Miranda Amachree for the achievements recorded in her short period in that capacity.
Prof. Jauro won the German Academic Exchange Scholarship (DAAD) and the European Association of Organic Geochemists (EAOG) Travel Grant in 2005.
He is a fellow of the Chemical Society of Nigeria (CSN), as well as a member of the Institute of Chartered Chemists of Nigeria, (MICCON) and of Polymer Institute of Nigeria (MPIN).
Kano Governorship election: PDP rejects APC’s Ganduje as the winner
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has rejected the declaration of Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje as winner of the Kano governorship election, insisting that its candidate Abba K. Yusuf, is the rightful winner.
In a statement by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP said that any declaration that does not show Abba Yusuf as winner cannot stand.
Furthermore, the party claimed that its candidate won the Kano state governorship election since March 9, 2019, having fulfilled the constitutional requirement of securing the highest number of votes and the statutory 25% in two-thirds of the state.
However, the supplementary governorship election in Kano overturned what would have been for them a victory.
The PDP has therefore described the supplementary polls as “a national disgrace” and a mere figure allocating exercise by compromised INEC officials, who collaborated with power drunk politicians in the All Progressives Congress (APC) to award results to the APC candidate”.
The party cautioned INEC against any attempt to alter figures, noting that that will be a clear recipe for anarchy and a serious crisis in the state.
PDP said that the people of Kano state have a long history of firm resistance against corrupt and oppressive forces, adding that the will of the Kano people must not be stretched in this election.
The party stressed that no amount of machination can “cow or force the Kano people to abandon their resolve for a new governor in Abba Yusuf”.
I don’t rig elections, I influence them – Tinubu
National leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, has said that he does not says he does not rig elections rather, he uses his moral authority, skills as a veteran politician to mobilise supporters to influence elections.
Tinubu was reacting to an allegation by a political group that he was planning to influence the governorship rerun election in Sokoto State.
The Sokoto State Coalition of PDP Supporters had accused Tinubu, Adams Oshiomhole, national chairman of the APC, and Abdulaziz Yari, Zamfara state governor, of meeting with Yakubu Mahmood, chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), of plans to rig the election in the state in favour of the APC.
But in a statement issued on his behalf by Tunde Rahman, his spokesman, the APC national leader said he has been a champion of electoral reform and would do nothing to subvert democracy in the country.
“These allegations by a contrived PDP organ are desperate untruths without a basis in fact. But they are entirely in line with the delusional reactions of PDP to their loss in the presidential elections,” Tinubu said.
“A prominent member of that panel, Prof Attahiru Jega later became the INEC Chairman and was able to implement the far-reaching reforms that have enabled us to have the free and fair elections that we witnessed in 2015 and now in 2019.
“If I were such a prominent supporter of electoral reforms, why will I now be among those trying to subvert democracy?
“My only tools for influencing elections are my moral authority, my skills as a veteran politician, and dedication to campaigning and mobilising my own party members.”
Kano: Why PDP rejects ongoing supplementary governorship election
The opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in Kano State has rejected the ongoing supplementary governorship election holding in 28 local government areas.
Chairman of PDP in the state, Rabiu Bichi, who addressed journalists Saturday in Kano said the party rejects the election because it was characterised by violence and intimidation of voters.
Mr Bichi said he had on Friday drawn attention of the Police command in the state accusing the governing All Progressives Congress (APC), of ferrying in armed thugs from neighbouring states.
“ What is happening today is not election. Thugs have taken over most polling units and have been attacking our members and voters.
“Many have been injured, in fact, a member of the state Assembly representing Gwale, Yusuf Babangida on election duty was attacked and seriously injured.
“ We also have reports of attack on our members in Doguwa, Gwale and Dala, we are collecting the whole list of those attacked,” he said.
The PDP chairman said the party would seek legal redress.
“We are going to pursue our right through legal means. Today is a sad day for Nigerian democracy, especially in Kano
“Recall that governorship elections were held on March 9 not just in Kano but Nigeria as a whole
“ After the election, results from 43 out of 44 local governments were announced and we were leading, it was only the results from Nasarawa local government were pending and that was because the state deputy governor, the commissioner for local government and chairman of Nasarawa local government led some thugs to attack the collation centre and disrupt the process by tearing the result sheet
“ That is why INEC called for this supplementary election. As you all know, the Nigerian constitution doesn’t know anything supplementary election; all I know is that we have won our election. What is happening in Kano today is simply foolishness,” he said.
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