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Sunday, 13 January 2019

Buhari's Former Spokesman Explains Why he Filed Petition Against CJN


The Executive Director, Anti -Corruption and Research Based Data Initiative, Mr Dennis Aghanya, has denied allegations that the Presidency has a hand in the petition his group wrote against the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen.
Reacting to the insinuations that the petition was sponsored by President Muhammadu Buhari, Aghanya told the Punch on Saturday night that he also took Buhari to court in 2011.
He also said the CJN had already owned up to the allegations brought against him in the petition.
Speaking on the telephone, Aghanya said, “Did you not know that I once took Mr. President to court in 2011? I used to be one of his aides but I took him to court.
“This is a petition by an NGO. What has Mr. President got to do with it? People are just trying to avoid a major issue. Our concern is to unveil irregularities. People should not try to politicise the good work we are doing.
“The person the petition was written against owed up to everything. In issues of this nature, should we be sentimental or do we face facts?”
Aghanya added that he would address a press conference on a yet - to-be -determined date over the development.
Asked why the petition against Onnoghen was coming so close to the elections, Aghanya said there was no time lag in things of that nature.
He noted that his organisation commenced investigation against the senior judicial officer about a year ago.
He dismissed the allegations that the petition was politically motivated, adding that the ARDI should rather be commended for exposing the alleged misdemeanour of the CJN.
Aghanya said it was not true that the petition was calculated to emasculate the judiciary or help President Muhammadu Buhari’s re -election in the forthcoming presidential poll, arguing that Nigerians should be more interested in the substance of the case.
He said, "I weep for this country. How are we working for Mr President? Is it because we came up with a petition that was substantiated? Why should it be tied to the elections? It is immaterial. Even before he was sworn in as the CJN, there were cases established against him, but nobody had the courage to take them up.”
Meanwhile, the Code of Conduct Bureau has concluded plans to arraign the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, for false declaration of assets.
Specifically, the CJN is to be prosecuted for operating three domiciliary accounts in Standard Chartered Bank accounts 1062650; 5001062686 and account 5001062679, all with a total balance of about $3m.
The Code of Conduct Tribunal headquarters in Abuja, on Saturday, confirmed the development in a statement signed by its Head, Press and Public Relations, Mr Ibraheem Al -Hassan.
According to Al- Hassan, the three -man panel of the tribunal, led by Danladi Umar, has fixed Monday for the arraignment of Nigeria ’s number one judge, following an application by the CCB for leave to commence the case.
He said the application was filed at the tribunal on Friday and summons for the Monday’s proceedings had been served on the CJN.
All the six counts preferred against the CJN are said to be bordering on non-declaration of assets.

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