Breaking: Again, NJC queries Onnoghen over EFCC petition


Again, the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Walter Onnoghen has been given another query by the National Judicial Council, NJC, ordering him to respond to a fresh petition the Economic and Financial Crimes
Commission, EFCC, lodged against him.

The suspended CJN has been given seven days to respond to allegations the EFCC raised against him.

The Council, which took the decision at the end of its emergency meeting in Abuja, further constituted a Preliminary Complaints
Assessment Committee, to consider responses from both Onnoghen and the Acting CJN, Justice Tanko Muhammad, to various petitions against them.

Meanwhile, the NJC has said it would reconvene on Wednesday to
take final decision on the fate of Justices Onnoghen and Muhammad.

Onnoghen had been accused of failing to fully declare his assets as prescribed by the law, while Muhammad is facing allegations
of misconduct for allowing himself to be sworn in as Onnoghen
replacement, whose suspension has generated so much fuss over the
weeks.

Both men are being investigated by the NJC as required by the law.
Both had been given seven days to respond to the allegations against
them

In a press release made available to Blueprint, spokesperson for the
NJC, Soji Oye, said that the NJC reconvened and resolved to constitute
into the Preliminary Complaints Assessment Committee in accordance
with Regulation 17 of the National Judicial Council Judicial
Discipline Regulations, 2017.

The committee is to report its finding to the council on February 13
when it will reconvene.

“Council also received a new petition written by the Economic and
Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against Hon. Mr. Justice W.S.N.
Onnoghen, GCON and forwarded it to him for his response within seven
(7) working days,” Mr Oje said.
“Council reaffirmed its confidence in Hon. Justice Umaru Abdullahi,
CON and continues under his Interim Chairmanship.”

The petition against Onnoghen was written by members of a group,
Resource Centre For Civil Education, while the allegation against
Muhammad was written by a former Nigerian Bar Association President,
Olisa Agbakoba, and another group, Centre for Justice and Peace
Initiative.

Onnoghen was suspended on January 25, 11 days after his trial on alleged false asset charge began at the Code of Conduct Tribunal on January 14.

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