Nigeria’s chief justice charged
‘Failed’ to declare foreign accounts
Abuja – Nigeria’s most senior judge was on Saturday charged for failing to declare his assets, in a move the main opposition party said triggered alarm bells as elections approach next month. Chief justice of Nigeria Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen will appear before a panel of three judges at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, the ethics court said. “Service of summons has been effected on the defendant,” tribunal spokesperson Ibraheem Al-Hassan said in an emailed statement. “The application [has been] was filed ... containing six charges all bordering on nondeclaration of assets,” said AlHassan, without elaborating. PR Nigeria, which publishes government press releases, said the charges related to allegations Onnoghen did not declare several bank accounts in US dollars, euros and sterling.
Under Nigerian law, public officials have to disclose their assets and are not allowed to have bank accounts in foreign currencies. Onnoghe’s appointment as chief justice was confirmed by parliament in March 2017. He has since criticised what he said was the politicisation of judicial appointments in Nigeria.