There seems to be more to the allegations of fraudulent assets declaration charge against Walter Onnoghen, the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), as dectectives may have found more undeclared funds in his accounts.
According to a report by The Nation newspaper, detectives found “suspicious” transactions, including an $800,000 Standard Chartered Bank investment subscription.
Also found is $630,000 lodged in some of the accounts through what is described as “structured payments” in tranches of $10,000 each.
Most of the lodgments, effected between 2012 and 2016, were undeclared in Justice Onnoghen’s assets declaration form, the sources claimed, pleading not to be named because of the “sensitivity” of the investigation.
The Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) has restricted the operation of five accounts with about $3million.
The accounts in the Standard Chartered Bank are USD No. 870001062650; Euro account No. 93001062686; Pound Sterling A/C No. 285001062679; e-Saver Savings (Naira) account No. 5001062693; and a Naira A/C No. 0001062667.
Detectives believe that most of the lodgments and transactions are “suspicious”.
The Newspaper also said it found an intelligence report on the CJN’s accounts, which read in part: “Pattern of structured payments of $10,000.00 each in 2012. For example, a total of $630,000.00 was credited to the accounts using this pattern
”Similarly structured payments of $10,000.00 amounting to $297,800.00, $50,000.00 and $36,000.00 were deposited in the account in 2013, 2015 and 2016 respectively.
“There was also a credit of $121,116.00 into the account from 2014 to 2016 from Life Friend Plc. The payments were in four instalments, of $30,279.00 each. These payments suggest the suspect has investments.
“ A payment at $482,966.00 from Alicia Redemption Pro and shortly after, $800,000.00 was invested in SCB Investment subscription. We are in the process of verifying these transactions;
“Other suspicious transactions in the account are credit of $19,764.00 from Pur of Noble and seven (7) payments of $3,250.00, each amounting to $22,750.00 from Lloyds TSB."
On the pound sterling (GBP), the investigative team discovered “a self- transfer of £40,268.40 into the account on May 31, 2016".
“There were also self-deposits by the suspect of £49,760.00 from July 2015 to September 2016 but the balance as at September 30, 2016, was £108,348.00,” the report added.
Regarding the Naira account, the report read: “The following highlights some of the suspicious activities in the account: A transfer of N41,262.000.00 ($260,000) was made from the dollar account. The money was used to make payment of N41million to Ad hoc Committee on the Sale of Federal Government Houses, suggesting that he bought a property with proceeds of the transfer;
“The only other significant transactions in the accounts are six (6) structured cash payments of N500,000.00 each and one payment of N700,000.00 amounting to N3.7mlllion from November 2013 to August 2016."
All the transactions, sources said, are being investigated whether or not they violated the “Revised Code of Conduct for Judicial Officers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”, which was put in place by the National Judicial Council.