NJC sets up panel on Onnoghen, Acting CJN Muhammad

NJC sets up panel on Onnoghen, Acting CJN Muhammad

Ebun Francis|

The National Judicial Council has set up a preliminary complaints assessment committee to review the responses of the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, and the acting CJN, Justice Ibrahim Muhammad to the query it issued to both of them.

Mr Onnoghen is accused of failing to fully declare his assets, while Mr Muhammad is facing allegations of misconduct in allowing himself to be sworn in as a replacement for Mr Onnoghen by President Buhari.

Both men are being investigated by the NJC as required by the law.

The council sat on Monday and was expected to give its verdict after hearing the responses of the two accused judges.

But spokesperson for the NJC, Soji Oye, said in a statement that the NJC reconvened and resolved to constitute into the Preliminary Complaints Assessment Committee in accordance with Regulation 17 of the National Judicial Council Judicial Discipline Regulations, 2017.

The committee is to report its finding to the council on February 13 when it will reconvene.

The statement read in part, “Council also received a new petition written by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against Hon. Mr. Justice W.S.N. Onnoghen, GCON and forwarded it to him for his response within seven (7) working days.”

“Council reaffirmed its confidence in Hon. Mr. Justice Umaru Abdullahi, CON and continues under his Interim Chairmanship.”

Mr Onnoghen was suspended on January 25, 11 days after his trial on alleged false asset charge began at the Code of Conduct Tribunal on January 14.

If both officers are found liable by the council after today’s meeting, the consequence may include the appointment of a new CJN for the country.

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