The process of taking ownership of the funds lodged in five bank accounts opened in the name of Walter Onnoghen, former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), is set to begin on Tuesday.

Onnoghen was convicted last Thursday by the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) on charges of breach of the Code of Conduct for public officers.

He was found guilty of fraudulent asset declaration.

The three-man tribunal, led by Danladi Umar, ordered Onnoghen’s removal as the CJN, and as the Chairman of both the National Judicial Council (NJC) and the Federal Judicial Service Commission as punishment for his alleged offences. 

Onnoghen was also banned from holding any public office for a period of 10 years.

Furthermore, the tribunal also gave an order that funds in the five bank accounts, which the defendant failed to declare as part of his assets in breach of the Code of Conduct for public officers, should be forfeited.

Umar Aliyu (SAN), the prosecuting counsel, said the tribunal would file an order of forfeiture and the Nigerian government would pass on the order to the bank, Standard Chartered Bank (Nig.) Ltd, on Tuesday.

He said: “The order of the court will have to be served on the bank.

“In line with the judgment of the tribunal, an order will now have to be drawn from the judgment to the effect that the money in the accounts should be forfeited to the Federal Government.

“Without that, the bank will not accede to any request by the Federal Government for the forfeiture of the accounts.

“We expect that after the Easter break (which ends on Monday), the order will be drawn up by the tribunal and would be subsequently served on the bank.”

Ibraheem Al-Hassan, Head of Press and Public Relations Unit of the CCT, also said the order would be ready for service on the bank on Tuesday.

According to the Punch newspaper, Al-Hassan said the order had not been drawn up from the judgment because there was no time to do so since the verdict was delivered late on Thursday.

Al-Hassan said: “The order would be ready by Tuesday. If you recall, the judgment was delivered late into the closing time on Thursday, so, there was no time to draw the order from the judgment. Friday and Monday are public holidays.

“So, the next work day is Tuesday. By Tuesday, the order will be ready for service.”

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