Justice Walter Onnoghen, Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, has said he’s ready to surrender himself to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for probe.
Onnoghen, who maintained that he has nothing to hide, said on Wednesday that his attention was drawn to a media report published by Punch Newspaper that he was being investigated by the anti-graft agency “for yet-to-be disclosed reasons”.
According to Vanguard Newspaper, the CJN, in a statement that was signed by his media aide, Mr. Awassam Bassey, said he was “ready to pay the required price to make the nation a better place”. He said he has never been invited or called upon by the EFCC to offer any explanation on any impropriety, saying he would however not be distracted in his effort to reform the Judiciary.
The statement by the CJN reads: “Our attention has been drawn to media reports quoting the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as probing the Hon. The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Hon. Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen, GCON, for yet-to-be disclosed reasons.
“The reports in the media mentioned the reason for the investigation as “intelligence” which for now we take to be abstract.
“However, the Hon. CJN wishes to use this medium to say that it is the first time he is being aware of any allegations or intelligence against him, neither has he been invited or called upon to offer any explanation on any impropriety.
“However, the Hon. CJN wishes to assure the public that he has nothing to hide and is open to investigation.
“As a committed patriot who has spent all his adult life in the temple of justice, the Hon. CJN is ready to pay the required price to make the nation a better place.
“The commitment of the Hon CJN to the efforts of the current administration to rid the country of corrupt practices is unwavering and he will stop at nothing to see a new dawn in Nigeria’s Judiciary.
“He will also not be distracted in his avowed reformative efforts to make the Nigerian Judiciary a beacon of well-rounded justice which the entire citizenry will be proud of.
“The public is encouraged to keep faith and trust in the present administration’s fight against corruption and be assured that the CJN is doing his best to reform the Judiciary accordingly”.
In a related development, the EFCC, in a statement on Wednesday, debunked report that it is currently probing the CJN.
The Commission, insisted that the report which it described as “diversionary and mischievous”, did not emanate from it. It however admitted that before Justice Onnoghen was elevated to the CJN position, some petitions that were written against him were investigated and found to be without merit and discarded.