My soft spot for the embattled CJN, Walter Nkanu Onnoghen, JSC, stems from the mode of his removal and ouster from Office – Ifeanyi Agwuncha

However strictly speaking with respect to the charges before the CCT, I understand the thrust of the Charges to be predicated on false and non -declaration of assets as reflected in his forms submitted to the CCB.

To refresh our minds I stand to be corrected, these are the charges dangling on the neck of the CJN, as filed by the Prosecution. The concentration should be on the charges and not any figures bandied in the press.

“Count 1 read: That you, Justice Walter Nkanu Onnoghen CJN, GCON between June 8, 2005 to December 14, 2016 being a public officer, serving as a Judicial Officer of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria failed to declare and submit a written declaration of all your assets and liabilities within the prescribed period of (3) months after being sworn-in as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria on the 8 day of June, 2005 and you thereby contravened the provisions of section 15(1) of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act Cap 15 LFN 2004 and punishable under section 23(2) a, b and c of the same Act.

Count 2,
Onnoghen, was accused of falsely declaring his assets by omitting to declare funds in his domiciliary accounts as well as an e- saving accounts both in local and foreign currencies, all in Standard Chartered Banks, Wuse, Abuja.

Count 3

That you, Justice Walter Nkanu Onnoghen CJN, GCON, being a public officer as a Justice of the Supreme Court is under a duty to declare his assets to the Code of Conduct Bureau on or about December 14, 2016, falsely declare your assets in your asset declaration form CCB 1, after you were sworn-in as Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria by omitting to declare a domiciliary (Euro) account number 93001062686 maintained with Standard Chartered Bank (Nigeria) limited Wuse 2, Abuja, which is being operated since 2011 and you thereby contravened the provisions of section 15(2) of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act Cap 15 LFN 2004 and punishable under section 23(2) a, b and c of the same Act.

Count 4

That you, Justice Walter Nkanu Onnoghen CJN, GCON, being a public officer as a Justice of the Supreme Court is under a duty to declare his assets to the Code of Conduct Bureau on or about December 14, 2016, falsely declare your assets in your asset declaration form CCB 1, after you were sworn-in as Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria by omitting to declare a domiciliary (Pounds Sterling) account number 285001062679 maintained with Standard Chartered Bank (Nigeria) limited Wuse 2, Abuja, which is being operated since 2011 and you thereby contravened the provisions of section 15(2) of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act Cap 15 LFN 2004 and punishable under section 23(2) a, b and c of the same Act.

Count 5

That you, Justice Walter Nkanu Onnoghen CJN, GCON, being a public officer as a Justice of the Supreme Court is under a duty to declare his assets to the Code of Conduct Bureau on or about December 14, 2016, falsely declare your assets in your asset declaration form CCB 1, after you were sworn-in as Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria by omitting to declare an e-saver savings (naira) account number 5001062693 maintained with Standard Chartered Bank (Nigeria) limited Wuse 2, Abuja, which is being operated since 2011 and you thereby contravened the provisions of section 15(2) of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act Cap 15 LFN 2004 and punishable under section 23(2) a, b and c of the same Act.

Count 6

That you, Justice Walter Nkanu Onnoghen CJN, GCON, being a public officer as a Justice of the Supreme Court is under a duty to declare his assets to the Code of Conduct Bureau on or about December 14, 2016, failed to declare in your asset declaration form CCB 1, after you were sworn-in as Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria a naira account number 010001062667 maintained with Standard Chartered Bank (Nigeria) limited Wuse 2, Abuja, which is being operated since 2011 and you thereby contravened the provisions of section 15(2) of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act Cap 15 LFN 2004 and punishable under section 23(2) a, b and c of the same Act.”

If the above are the charges, then in my humble view it has nothing to do with the number or value of the assets traced to the embattled suspended CJN . The gist of the charges remains false declaration and omission to declare assets.

In this light I am struggling to understand the frenzy that greeted the excerpts of evidence shared on social media yesterday evening. It is even unsafe to rely on media reports for obvious reasons to gauge evidence and proceedings of Court.

Is there anything I am missing?

Let’s see how it ends. For now I suggest caution for us to douse the euphoria and celebrations.

Certainly not yet uhuru!!!!