The immediate past Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, has been barred from traveling out of the country by the federal government.
Saturday PUNCH reports that the move may be part of a fresh probe into Onnoghen’s affairs. Onnoghen was convicted for not declaring his assets by the Code of Conduct Tribunal in April.
An internal report issued by the Nigeria Immigration Service, which was read out to our correspondent by a top officer, stated that Onnoghen, his wife and daughter were attempting to travel to Accra, Ghana when they were accosted by immigration officers.
The report stated, “On November 11, 2019, retired Honourable Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, was attempting to travel to Accra, Ghana. He was in company with his wife, Nkoyo, and daughter.
“His passport, with number A50445233, was flagged because Justice Onnoghen’s name was on the watch list. The passport is currently in custody of the NIS.”
The senior officer told Saturday PUNCH that the passport seized from Onnoghen was not a diplomatic passport but the ordinary green passport.
The immigration officer told our correspondent that the directive to seize Onnoghen’s passport came from the Presidency.
“Justice Onnoghen will have to meet with the Presidency to know why his passport was seized. We are only following instructions,” the officer said.
Saturday PUNCH was informed by a top judicial officer that Onnoghen’s decision to challenge his conviction by the CCT might have angered the present administration.
The Appeal Court had condemned the Buhari regime for the manner in which the trial of Onnoghen was conducted.
In a judgment by the three-man bench led by Justice Stephen Adah, it was unanimously ruled that the CCT’s ex parte order breached the ex-CJN’s right to a fair hearing.
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