Friday, November 22, 2019

CJN Onnoghen: EFCC to go after rumour peddlers

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Should the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have its way, former Aviation Minister Femi Fani-Kayode and Afenifere spokesman Yinka Odumakin will face trial for allegedly spreading the rumour that the agency raided Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Walter Onnoghen’s home.
The duo were spreading “fake news” yesterday, the anti-graft agency said.
It said also that it did not arrest the CJN, contrary to rumours.
The agency said Fani-Kayode and Odumakin would be sued for spreading fake news. The anti-graft commission made the clarifications in a statement by its spokesman, Mr. Tony Orilade.
Fani-Kayode’s and Odumakin’s comments could not be obtained last night. Their phones rang unanswered.
The EFCC statement said: “The attention of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has been drawn to the falsehood which has been spreading on the social media that the EFCC has arrested the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen.
“This is not only a figment of the imagination of the purveyor of the fake news, but an evil machination by the creator and carriers of the news aimed at creating anarchy in the country.
“For the record, the EFCC never went to the house of the CJN for arrest, neither was invitation extended to him.
”Several calls and short messages received all point to the fact that the brains behind the fake news had one thing in mind: to act as agent of destabilisation. We would not give in to their plots.”
The EFCC threatened a legal action against Fani-Kayode and Odumakin for spreading fake news against it.
It added: “One of the architects of the fake news, Femi Fani-Kayode, was quoted as saying, “Why have the EFCC surrounded the home of CJN Onnoghen and why are they seeking to arrest him? These people want Nigeria to burn! Buhari call off your dogs before it is too late! This is a democracy and not a gestapo state! In the name of God let this madness stop.
“Another arrowhead of the fake news, Yinka Odumakin shared a non-existent video which has gone viral.
“We want to assure Nigerians that while we would fight corruption in line with the mandate setting up the Commission, agents of darkness, in the likes of Femi Fani-Kayode, Yinka Odumakin and their cohorts, would never be able to manipulate the people against the Commission.
“We also want to assure Fani-Kayode, Yinka Odumakin and other purveyors of the evil news to be ready to defend their actions in the court of law as the EFCC will file libel suit against them without further delay.”

The House of Representatives reumes today after some weeks adjournment. The spokesman of the Green Chamber Abdulrazaq Namdas said the proposed arraignment of the CJN before the Code of Conduct tribunal will be discussed at today’s plenary.

Speaker Yakubu Dogara had in a statement on Sunday called for caution on the charges filed against the CJN.
Dogara said: “While the House awaits further briefing from relevant agencies, nevertheless, it is important that due process is followed because Nigeria is a country govered by laws and not dictates of men.
“This is a matter that affects another arm of government and its head which should be treated with caution so as not to send the wrong signal that there is a political undertone or other ulterior motives to the issue.”
Also yesterday, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State urged Justice Onnoghen to protect the sanctity of the judiciary by disqualifying himself from further participating in judicial matters.
Eze Chukwuemeka Eze flayed the Southsouth Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors and some leaders of the opposition party for encouraging the CJN to ignore the CCT summons.
Eze described the advice as “conspiracy against Nigeria’s constitution”, adding that the governors’ decision after their emergency meeting on Sunday gave the CJN out “as a secret member of the PDP”.
He said: “The action of the five PDP governors from the Southsouth zone is a call for chaos and undermining of the nation’s renascent democracy. What is the big deal with having an officer of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, who is not under the protection of the constitutional immunity clause, to face the law to explain why he flouted the laws he is meant to obey?
“What is playing out is that the Southsouth governors and some PDP bigwigs are trying to protect one of their own. The hullabaloo, hues and posturing are nothing but a disservice to the fight against corruption, which is the hallmark of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“What is expected of most of those crying is to examine the provisions of the law, as they relate to the charges against the CJN. Onnoghen accepted to have erred by not declaring his assests as and when due and also operating foreign domiciliary accounts, against the law of Nigeria.”
Eze also stated that the PDP leaders made it obvious that without Onnoghen as CJN, candidates of the party would not be able to win the February 16 and March 2 general elections.Read More

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