The Financial and Monetary Crimes Fee (EFCC) has traced a automobile owned by Walter Onnoghen, the embattled chief justice of Nigeria (CJN), to Joe Agi, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN).
The anti-graft company believes the automobile is a present from the lawyer, who had circumstances earlier than Onnoghen on the time of buy.
However Agi has instructed the EFCC that apart being a senior lawyer, he’s additionally a automobile supplier and Onnoghen purchased the Mercedes GL 450 sequence from him for N7 million in 2010, sources instructed TheCable.
Nonetheless, when he was requested to supply receipts of buy and different documentation referring to the transaction, he couldn’t accomplish that, TheCable understands.
Beforehand, the EFCC traced a deposit of $30,000 by Agi into Onnoghen’s checking account relationship again to 2009.
He was additionally mentioned to have had circumstances earlier than the decide when he made the deposits.
Agi has since denied the allegation that the $30,000 was a bribe.
In a press assertion, he mentioned the cash was from allowances paid to Onnoghen on seminars, holidays, conferences or medical journeys overseas.
Agi mentioned: “I’ve been acquainted with Justice Onnoghen, JSC in our days as Legal professionals in Calabar, Cross Rivers State from the 1980s earlier than he was appointed a Excessive Court docket Choose.
“My Lord Justice Onnoghen mentioned he had no thought since opening of overseas account was forbidden for Public Officers. I knowledgeable him that domiciliary account just isn’t a overseas checking account as it’s opened and operated throughout the native banks in Nigeria.
“It was on this word that I went to my banker Commonplace Chartered Financial institution and obtained Account Opening Kinds for him as a buddy and Senior Brother. He accomplished the Kinds and I refereed him. He gave me $30,000 being left over of his allowances for abroad seminars, holidays, conferences or medical journeys to deposit for him as the primary deposit. This I did in 2009 i.e 10 years in the past. After that, he operated the account himself with out me paying even a cent into that account until date.
“Now 10 years after, I’m once more being vilified and accused of giving Justice Onnoghen bribe. If I could ask; bribe for which case? Within the Supreme Court docket panel they sit in 5 or 7 individuals, was the $30,000 for the 5 or 7 Justices? And for which case? That is one other big joke aimed toward vilifying my individual by the identical cabal who’re hell bent on tarnishing my picture as an aftermath of the publicity of the Paris Membership fraud.”
Agi is among the legal professionals defending Onnoghen in his asset declaration case earlier than the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).
Onnoghen is at present being tried by the CCT over allegations of non-declaration of a few of his property, though he mentioned it was an oversight.
In a earlier case, which was ultimately dismissed, a overseas agency owned by Agi’s buddy paid N30 million into the account of the spouse of Adeniyi Adetokunbo Ademola, a justice of the federal excessive court docket, for his or her daughter’s wedding ceremony.
He was additionally mentioned to have purchased a automobile for Ademola’s son.
The case filed towards him for “gratification” was dismissed on technical grounds, though many legal professionals argued that it was an expert misconduct which ought to have been punished by the Authorized Practitioners Privileges Committee.
When contacted on Sunday morning, Agi instructed TheCable that he was in church and he would react later.
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