Walter Onnoghen, chief justice of Nigeria has explained the source of the foreign currency which he lodged into his accounts with the bank in installments.
The explanation is coming ahead of his trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), on Monday, February 4.
According to him, some of the deposits in his Dollar account were from forex trading AGRICODE, while others were from proceeds of his investments into them.
Onnoghen stated these in the voluntary statement he made at the Department of Intelligence Investigation and Monitoring, Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), Abuja.
Onnoghen, in the document entitled “Cautionary Statement Form” cited by our correspondent, explained that
“the deposits made in my US Dollar account No. 87000106250 with STD. Chartered Bank of $10,000 at different intervals of 28/6/11 were sourced partly from my reserve and savings from my estacodes including medical expenses.
“The same applies to my deposit of 27/7/11 of the sum of $10,000 twice.
“It is important to state that prior to my opening the US dollar account, I had foreign currency which I kept at home due to the fact that there existed a government that proscribed the operation of foreign currency account by public officers including judicial officers.
“It was when I got to know that the policy had changed that I had to open the said account. Upon opening the account, I was made to understand that I cannot pay in more than $10,000 at a time and per payment slip. I cannot remember the total amount I had on reserve at the time, but it spread from my practice days as a private legal practitioner from 1979 –1989.
“Some of the deposits are as a result of forex trading AGRICODE and other investment returns from where proceeds of my investments go into them. The withdrawals in the account are partly to pay children fees and upkeep abroad and further investments.
“My British Pound and Euro accounts with Chartered Standard Bank are savings accounts.”
In the said document dated January 1, 2019, the suspended jurist who wrote his statement on January 11, 2019, between 12:30 pm to 1: 45 pm stated: “I Walter S. N. Onnoghen of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, hereby voluntarily depose to the statement averred herein knowing that whatever I write or state may be tendered against me as evidence in court. I also volunteer to state that the statement was not taken in evidence from me under duress but after the administering officer has explained and made known the details of the allegations against me.”
While responding to the allegations of non- declaration of his assets against him, Justice Onnoghen stated:
“My Asset Declaration for Nos. SCN000014 and SCN.0000 5 were declared on the same day, 14th December, 2016, because I forgot to make a declaration of May, 2005 declaration of my assets after the expiration of my 2005 declaration in 2009.
“Following my appointment as acting Chief Justice of Nigeria in November, 2016, the need to declare my asset anew made me to realise the mistake and then did the declarations to cover the period in default.
“I did not include my Standard Chartered Bank Account in SCN. 000014 because I believed they were not opened during the period covered by the declaration; I did not make a fresh declaration of the asset after my substantive appointment as CJN because I was under the impression that my SCN. 000015 was to cover the period of four years which include my leave as CJN.” – with reports from Daily Sun/News Express