CJN not under any Probe EFCC clarifies as CJN says ‘I have nothing to hide’

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday disclosed that it has no axe to grind with the Chief Jus­tice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, over alle­gations that he is corrupt.

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It described a report in a national daily on Wednesday that Onnoghen and other serving and former top offi­cials of the federal and state governments judiciary, were under investigation as total­ly off the mark.

Reacting to his traduc­ers, Justice Onnoghen urged them to dig into his past and present activities in office be­cause he has nothing to hide.

The print medium had in the story titled: “CJN, Okon­jo-Iweala, Fayemi, Fay­ose, Others Under Probe – EFCC,” claimed that a list of high-profile Nigerians, such as Onnoghen, former Finance Minister, Dr. Ngo­zi Okonjo-Iweala, the Min­ister of Solid Minerals Devel­opment, Dr. Kayode Fayemi and Justice Abdu Kafarati of the Federal High Court, were under investigation by the EFCC.

But in a swift reaction to the report, Head of Media and Publicity of the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, de­nied the newspaper report that, “the list, sighted by one of our correspondents via an EFCC source on Mon­day, was recently sent by the anti-graft agency to the At­torney-General of the Fed­eration and Minister of Jus­tice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), based on request.”

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Uwajaren stated that the report did not emanate from the EFCC and the allusion to “an EFCC source” is diver­sionary and mischievous.

According to Uwajaren: “For the avoidance of doubt, cases under investigation communicated to the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation by the Com­mission are classified infor­mation and it is troubling how such would be leaked to the media.

“The mastermind of this leak is out to create disaffec­tion between the Commis­sion and, particularly, the Judiciary.

“The Commission wish­es to state categorically that it is currently not investigat­ing Justices Onnoghen and Kafarati,” he stressed.

When Onnoghen was be­ing considered for the Of­fice of the CJN, the EFCC received several petitions which were investigated and found to be without mer­it and discarded, he empha­sised.

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*I’ve nothing to hide, says CJN

Meanwhile, Justice On­noghen has said that he has nothing to do with the alle­gation.

The CJN in a statement from his office disclosed that he had nothing to hide, add­ing that his office is open to any form of investigation by the anti-graft agency.

He pledged his commit­ment to President Muham­madu Buhari’s anti-cor­ruption battle and urged Nigerians to keep faith with the nation’s judiciary.

Onoghen said: “Our atten­tion has been drawn to media reports quoting the EFCC as probing the Hon. Chief Jus­tice of Nigeria (CJN), Hon. Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen, 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.

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“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 re­form