Court Bars FG From Freezing Onnoghen’s Accounts
The suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, can at least heave a sigh of relief.
The Federal High Court in Abuja has restrained the President, Attorney General of the Federation and Nigerian Financial Intelligence from freezing his bank accounts.
Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu granted the order while ruling on a motion ex-parte instituted by the Legal Defence and Assistance Project Ltd/GTE.
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The AGF last month wrote a letter to the NFIU asking the unit to “restrict normal banking operations on certain accounts belonging to Onnoghen”.
The AGF said the order was in line with Executive Order 06 on the preservation of assets connected with corruption.
On February 8, 2019, however, Justice Ojukwu ruled that the AGF must obtain a court order before freezing the accounts.
The court ruled, “That the AGF shall obtain an order of court (ex parte) before freezing the accounts of Justice Onnoghen Walter Nkanu Samuel (in respect of exhibit 8) in compliance with the law if it was not obtained.
“That where it is shown that the order of court was obtained before the freezing of the accounts contained in Exhibit B, the freezing order shall remain valid.”
The court ordered that its ruling be served on the respondents pending the hearing of the motion notice.
The court adjourned the matter till February 13.
The NFIU last month discovered the identities of firms that paid $3m into the bank accounts of Onnoghen.
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