The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has taunted Joe Agi, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), for being an “errand boy” to Walter Onnoghen, the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN).
In a petition filed before the National Judicial Council (NJC), the anti-graft agency listed the charges against Onnoghen, who is currently standing trial before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) over allegations bothering on fraudulent declaration of assets.
The EFCC's grouse was the $30,000 deposit allegedly made by Joe Agi (SAN) to an account operated by Onnoghen.
According to the petition, Onnoghen had claimed that he gave the said amount to Agi to deposit for him in a United State dollar account with the Standard Chartered Bank, which was opened in 2009.
However, Agi allegedly feigned ignorance of receipt of the money, as the SAN is quoted as stating: “I will be surprised if the money Onnoghen gave me was up to $30,000.00 as I cannot remember taking $30,000 from Justice Onnoghen; $30,000 is big money to take at a go."
Based on Agi’s submission, EFCC said Onnoghen’s claim on the said amount should be questioned.
The EFCC's petition read: “The amount DW2, Mr. Joe Agi SAN admitted was too big to take at a go is the amount the Respondent claimed he gave to the DW2. My lords, it was the amount that the DW2 said he will be surprised if the Respondent had given him was the amount the Respondent claimed he gave to the DW2. What these materials contradictions show my lords is that the claim of the Respondent is nothing but an afterthought and attempt to put a wool on the clear eyes of this honourable Panel.
“My lords, we must ask ourselves how can a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, a regular practicing lawyer before the Supreme Court where the Respondent is privileged to preside as judicial officer, suddenly become an errand boy for the Respondent to go to the bank for the purpose of depositing cash to the Respondent’s account.”