Walter Onnoghen, chief justice of Nigeria (CJN), may have more trouble coming his way as detectives have allegedly traced suspicious transactions to his accounts.
According to The Nation, the transactions include a $800,000 Standard Chartered Bank investment subscription, $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 said to have been undeclared in Onnoghen’s assets declaration form.
Already, the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) has restricted the operation of five accounts with about $3 million.
An intelligence report seen by the newspaper reads: “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 installments, 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.”
The investigative team also reportedly discovered a self-transfer of £40,268.40 into his pounds sterling account on May 31, 2016.
There were also self-deposits by the CJN of £49,760.00 from July 2015 to September 2016 but the balance as at September 30, 2016 was £108,348.00.
On the naira account, the intelligence 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, according to the newspaper, are reportedly being investigated to determine whether they violated the code of conduct for judicial officers, which was put in place by the National Judicial Council (NJC).
Amid his trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCB), the federal government had asked Onnoghen to “step aside” as the CJN.