No Deal With Onnoghen Over Resignation – Presidency


There is no deal between the Presidency and embattled Justice Walter Onnoghen on his exit as Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN).

Onnoghen who had been on suspension since January 25 following allegations of corruption against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), turned in his letter of resignation on Thursday.

Then followed speculations that he had reached an agreement with the Presidency for the purpose of giving him a soft landing after the National Judicial Commission (NJC) recommended that he should be compulsorily retired.

However, highly placed Presidency sources said yesterday that at no time was a deal reached between the seat of power and Onnoghen or his representatives on how he should leave office.

Sources said his ongoing trial for non-declaration of assets would run its course.

There was anxiety yesterday over his fate at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) which is handling the case.

Some forces in government are said to be pushing that the trial should go on, some members of the bench and the bar are in support of the NJC decision that Onnoghen be retired.

A top source in CCT said the tribunal will go ahead with its sitting on April 15 unless there is a notice of discontinuance of the trial from the prosecutors.

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The tribunal has given the Onnoghen’s lawyers up till Tuesday (April 9) to file their final address.

The prosecutors have an April 11 deadline to submit their final address.The prosecutors were locked in a marathon session yesterday to prepare their final address.

According to the tribunal, all addresses will be adopted on April 15 by the two parties.

A top source, who spoke in confidence, said: “The fate of Onnoghen is still dicey. It is unclear whether or not the Presidency will see through the conclusion of his trial by the CCT.

“There are also some alleged infractions which were investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). We do not know if he will face trial or not on these.

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