- The NJC has reportedly submitted its recommendation on Walter Onnoghen to President Buhari
- The suspended chief justice of Nigeria has reportedly resigned
- The chief of staff to the president has reportedly received the resignation letter
The presidency has yet to confirm the receipt of a letter of resignation by the suspended Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Walter Onnoghen, 24 hours after the speculation went viral.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reliably gathered that Onnoghen’s resignation letter was submitted to the Chief of Staff to the President, Malam Abba Kyari, by some Justices of the apex court.
NAN, however, learnt that the affected Justices arrived at the presidential villa few minutes after President Muhammadu Buhari left Abuja for Jordan to participate in the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Thursday.
A presidency source confirmed to NAN that President Buhari had, before his departure, received the National Judicial Council’s recommendations on the petitions written against Onnoghen and the acting CJN, Justice Tanko Muhammad.
The report was submitted to the president by his Chief of Staff, Mallam Abba Kyari, who was accompanied by the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Abubalar Malami, at about 2:20 p.m on the day.
The Director, Information, NJC, Mr Soji Oye, on Wednesday in a statement, confirmed that the council had sent its report to President Buhari after the conclusion of its investigation into the petitions against Onnoghen and the acting CJN.
All efforts to speak to presidential spokesmen, Mr Femi Adesina and Mallam Garba Shehu, on the matter proved abortive as the duo were outside the country on official and private engagements.
NAN reports that Adesina is currently on President Buhari’s entourage to Jordan while Shehu is in Saudi Arabia on pilgrimage.
Onnoghen’s trials for false assets declaration started when a petition was filed by the civil rights group at the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), alleging that he owned sundry accounts.
It alleged the accounts were primarily funded through cash deposits made by himself up to as recently as August 10, 2016, which appeared to have been run in a manner inconsistent with financial transparency and the code of conduct for public officials.
The trial began on Jan. 14 at Code of Conduct Tribunal but Onnoghen was absent.
Also on Wednesday, the National Judicial Council abstained from considering allegations relating to the assets declaration that were levelled against Onnoghen.
On Feb. 11, the council set up a preliminary complaints assessment committee to review the responses given to it by Onnoghen, and Muhammad who is acting in his stead.
Onnoghen is accused of failing to fully declare his assets, while Muhammad is facing allegations of misconduct.
The NJC said it reconvened and resolved to constitute into the Preliminary Complaints Assessment Committee in accordance with Regulation 17 of the National Judicial Council Judicial Discipline Regulations, 2017.
Legit.ng had reported that the National Judicial Commission (NJC) recommended the retirement of the suspended chief justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, to President Muhammadu Buhari.
The commission after a deliberation on Wednesday, April 3, unanimously reached an agreement that Onnoghen be retired over petitions filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Members of the NJC led by an interim leadership under Umaru Abdullahi, a former president of the Court of Appeal, agreed that the suspended CJN had lost the morality of authority to continue as Nigerian chief justice with the litany of allegations bordering on misconduct.
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