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Bank Officials Say Onnoghen Does Not Operate Any Foreign Account As FG Closes Case After The Submittion Of Three Witnesses

Suspended CJN Has Only Five Houses As Against 55 Houses Claimed  By The Government
The Federal Government on Thursday closed its case of false and non-declaration of charges preferred against the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, at the Code of Conduct Tribunal.
This was after an official of Standard Chartered Bank, Ifeoma Okeagbue, confirmed to the Code of Conduct Tribunal that Justice Onnoghen, was granted a loan of $500,000 by the bank as of January this year.
Okeagbue, who was testifying as the third prosecution witness in the ongoing trial of Onnoghen on charges of false and non-declaration of assets, also confirmed that the loan was guaranteed by the suspended CJN’s investments in Federal Government’s bonds and shares, among others.
Although, the prosecution led by Mr. Aliyu Umar (SAN) had proposed to call six witnesses to prove its case against the defendant, it closed its case after calling three of them.

Umar announced his decision to close the prosecution’s case after the third witness, Ifeoma Okeagbue, an official of Standard Chartered Bank, concluded her testimony on Thursday.
The prosecuting counsel said he had chosen to offer to the defence team the rest of his proposed witnesses, three of them, who were not called by the prosecution.

But the lead defence counsel, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), rejected the offer.
He then sought the permission of the three-man bench led by its Chairman, Danladi Umar, to consult with the defendant who was seated in the dock.
After a brief interaction with the suspended CJN, Awomolo announced that Onnoghen had opted to file a no-case submission, implying that the defence will contend that the prosecution has failed to make a case against the defendant and there will not be any need for the suspended CJN to enter his defence.
The prosecuting counsel had called Standard Chartered Bank official, Ifeoma Okeagbue, as the third witness.
The witness, who had earlier said in her evidence-in-chief that Onnoghen had five accounts, confirmed ‎that the ones in euro, dollar, and pound sterling were domiciliary accounts and not ‘foreign accounts.’
Okeagbue, who is Team Leader, Priority Banking, as well as Onnoghen’s Relationship Manager at the branch of the bank in Wuse II, Abuja, gave details of the balances on the five different accounts of the suspended Justice Onnoghen, to the Code of Conduct Tribunal on Thursday.
He said all the bank accounts were still active.

Testifying as the third prosecution witness in the ongoing trial of the suspended CJN on charges of false and non-declaration of assets, Okeagbue said the accounts, opened separately between 2009 and 2010, were in euro, pound, dollar and naira denominations.
Led in evidence by the prosecuting counsel, Mr. Aliyu Umar (SAN), Okeagbue said the euro and the pounds accounts were savings, the dollar account was current, while the two other accounts were in naira denominations, with one being savings account and the other current.

Reading from the statements of the accounts earlier admitted as exhibits, Okeagbue said, “On the account 5001062686, the opening balance in January 2018 was €30,178.58.
“As at December 2018, the balance was €10,187.18.
“On account 5001062693, at January 2018, it was with opening balance of N6,411,312.77.
“At December 2018, the balance was N12,852,580.52

“On account 5001062679, the opening balance as at January 2018 was £39,456.08 and by December 2018 the balance was £13,730.70.
“On account 0001062667, the opening balance as at January 2018 was N24,280,904 and as at December 2018, the balance was N2,656,019.21.
“On account 0001062650, as of January 2018, the opening balance was $80,824.25, and by January 2019, the balance was $56,878.”

Part of the conversation between Awomolo and the witness went thus:
Awomolo: The defendant has a facility or loan of $500,000 granted by the bank as of January 2019.
Witness: Yes.
Awomolo: The security for the loans is his investments in Federal Government bonds and other investments such as shares.
Witness: Yes.
Awomolo: The pound sterling, dollars and euro are domiciliary accounts operated in Nigeria not overseas.
Witness: Yes.
Awomolo: The bank encouraged him as a disciplined account holder to invest in some other profit venture.
Witness: Yes.
Awomolo: And interests on these investments are credited back to his accounts.

Witness: Yes.

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