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EFCC discovers another Onnoghen account with $30,000 payment by controversial SAN
THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says it has discovered another undisclosed bank account belonging to the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria Walter Onnoghen.
According to TheCable, the Heritage Bank account was also not listed by Onnoghen in his assets declaration form and it contains a $30,000 payment by Joe Agi, a controversial Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) who has been charged with corruption in the past.
Onnoghen has already been charged with false assets declaration following a petition to the Code of Conduct Bureau that he did not include five bank accounts he has with the Standard Chartered Bank. But he has refused to appear before the Code of Conduct Tribunal to answer to the charges.
EFCC Sources told TheCable on Thursday that the fresh discovery was made in the course of ongoing investigations into several fraudulent activities the former CJN was involved in.
The $30,000, according to the EFCC sources, was paid into Onnoghen’s account sometime in 2009, adding that there were several other “suspicious payments” also traced to his accounts between 2011 and 2013.
The federal government had already frozen the five bank accounts that Onnoghen failed to disclose in his assets declaration comprising one dollar account, one pound sterling account, one euro account, and two naira accounts.
Altogether, the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) said the restricted accounts contained about $3million and gave a breakdown of how suspicious payments were made into the accounts.
Onnoghen was controversially removed from office by President Mohammadu Buhari and an Acting CJN, Tanko Mohammed, sworn in.
Recall that Joe Agi, the SAN who allegedly made the payment into Onmnoghen’s account, was also involved in the corruption case against Adeniyi Ademola, a former justice of the Federal High Court.
The EFCC had filed corruption charges against Justice Ademola and Agi following the raid on some judges’ residence by men of the Department of State Services in October 2016. Agi was said to have paid the sum of N160 million into Ademola’s account, as well as bought a vehicle worth over N8 million for the Judge’s son.
Justice Ademola was subsequently dismissed by the National Judicial Commission following the allegation.
However, the federal high court later dismissed the case, discharging and acquitting Justice Ademola following a no-case submission which he filed after the EFCC had closed its case. The federal government appealed the judgement but the Court of Appeal upheld the judgement of the lower court.