Walter Onnoghen, embattled Chief Justice of Nigeria, is being investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for alleged money laundering.
This was revealed in a letter the acting chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, wrote to President Muhammadu Buhari.
The letter with reference number EFCC/EC/P/01, dated January 30, 2019, was titled, “Interim investigation report: Alleged case of bribery, corruption and money laundering”.
It was distributed to media houses by the spokesman of Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP), Imo Ugochinyere, who alleged of plans by the anti-graft commission to arrest the top jurist and force him to resign at gun point.
Mr Onnoghen is accused of non-declaration of assets traced to him. He is being tried at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) on a six count charge.
In the letter, Mr Magu said his agency had even before the appointment of the accused was investigating the suspended CJN but had to stop half way because the EFCC could not have access to his assets declaration forms.
“For speedy investigation, a special investigation team which will include lawyers and investigators will be constituted to specifically investigate allegations levelled against the suspect. The investigation is expected to be concluded within a short time frame,” the EFCC chariman wrote.
“There is need to get the Asset Declaration Form of the suspect from the Code of Conduct Bureau for further investigation and to determine his net worth.
“Invitation of all individuals seen to have featured in his statements of account as having sent money to his account or received.
“Invitation of other individuals who paid money into the suspect’s Standard Chartered Bank account for interview.
“Determination of the source and mode of payments of the deposits into the SCB investment account held by the suspect with the aim of unraveling the individuals/entities that have given funds to the suspect over the years and expose his other sources of income.
“It is no doubt indicative of the fact that the suspect must have been involved in bribery and corruption as well as using some corporate entities in perpetrating his money laundering activities.
“Your Excellency, investigation is still ongoing and further developments will be communicated,” the letter read.
Mr Ugochinyere while making his allegations said the agency intends to carry out the operation today.
“The secretariat of the CUPP has uncovered the latest plot by the presidency to arrest the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen tomorrow (Wednesday) being February 6, 2019 and immediately commence their final descent to infamy by forcing him to resign at gunpoint,” the CUPP spokesman said in a statement Tuesday night.
“The latest recruit in this plot against the CJN being the Chairman of the EFCC has been given the mandate to execute this plot and has been told there would be no margin for error as the CJN must resign from office or from life one way or the other,” he added.