Nige­ria’s chief jus­tice charged

‘Failed’ to de­clare for­eign ac­counts

Sowetan - - News -

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.

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