Politics Top Stories

A complete timeline of ex-CJN Walter Onnoghen’s drama-filled journey to disgrace

A complete timeline of ex-CJN Walter Onnoghen’s drama-filled journey to disgrace

As the Code of Conduct Tribunal has now convicted Walter Onnoghen, former Chief Justice of Nigeria, a long and controversial episode in Nigeria’s judiciary may have finally come to an end.

With Onnoghen’s fate sealed, here is the complete timeline of his drama-filled fall from grace.

*March 2017: Walter Onnoghen became the Chief Justice of Nigeria.

*January 10, 2019: The Nigerian Government, through the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), dragged Onnoghen to Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) on charges bothering on asset declaration offences.

The development came following a petition by a group, the Anti-corruption and Research based Data Initiative, accusing him of financial crimes and breaches of the CCB requirements.

*January 14, 2019: CCT commenced trial of Onnoghen’s alleged corruption at the premises of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court in Jabi, Abuja with Onnoghen absent.

*January 22, 2019: Justice Onnoghen again failed to appear before the CCT to answer for his alleged corruption.

*On January 28, 2019: CCT adjourned indefinitely the trial of Onnoghen pending the outcome of the ruling of the Court of Appeal.

*February 4, 2019: The CCT resumed trial of Onnoghen but again adjourned the matter of to February 13, 2019, following an application made by the Defence Counsel, Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN).

*February 13, 2019: The CCT issued a bench warrant for the arrest of Justice Walter Onnoghen, over his continuous failure to submit himself for trial.

*February 15, 2019: Justice Onnoghen finally appeared before the CCT to answer for his alleged failure to declare his assets. He was granted bail.

*March 11, 2019: Onnoghen told the CCT that it has no jurisdiction to proceed with the six count charge brought against him by the Federal Government. He said as a serving judicial officer, it was the National Judicial Council (NJC) that was vested with powers to entertain any misconduct against him.

*March 12, 2019: Onnoghen trial was suspended and adjourned till March 18, 2019 after the former CJN lawyer, Awomolo told the tribunal that he was suffering from tooth-ache.

*March 17, 2019: EFCC raided Onnoghen’s farm, taking custody of some vital documents

*March 18, 2019: Onnoghen returns to trial after toothache problems. The prosecution this day tended exhibits against Onnoghen, while Onnoghen claimed his asset declaration forms were tampered with.

*March 21, 2019: A witness from the CCB said Onnoghen’s asset forms haven’t been verified since 2016. The federal government closed case against Onnoghen

*March 29, 2019: CCT dismissed a no-case application brought before it by Onnoghen.

*April 1, 2019: Onnoghen opened defence at CCT.

READ ALSO: Onnoghen convicted, to forfeit assets, can’t hold public office for 10 yrs

*April 3, 2019: Onnoghen closed defence at CCT. EFCC detailed criminal allegations against Onnoghen before the NJC. Onnoghen said he never took bribe. NJC recommended Onnoghen for retirement

*April 4, 2019: Onnoghen reportedly resigned as CJN

*April 15, 2019: CCT fixed the date for final judgment in the alleged non-declaration of assets suit against Onnoghen.

*April 18, 2019: CCT convicted Onnoghen, asked government to take over his assets, and held he must not hold public office for 10 years.

By Ebere Ndukwu …

Ripples Nigeria

We are an online newspaper, very passionate about Nigerian politics, business and their leaders. We dig deeper, without borders and without fears.
www.ripplesnigeria.com

Join the conversation

Opinions

About the author

Ripples Nigeria

We are an online newspaper, very passionate about Nigerian politics, business and their leaders. We dig deeper, without borders and without fears.
www.ripplesnigeria.com