I was reluctant to deal with Onnoghen — Buhari opens up

President Muhammadu Buhari says he was reluctant to deal with Walter Onnoghen, former chief justice of Nigeria (CJN).

The president had suspended the ex-CJN before he was charged with false assets declaration at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).

Speaking when leaders of Afenifere, a Pan-Yoruba socio-political group, visited him on Tuesday, Buhari said Onnoghen had to go because he acted in violation of the office he occupied.

“I will tell you as Afenifere, that I had to deal, though reluctantly, with the former chief justice because there were millions of dollars, euros, not to talk of naira, which were not declared,” he said.

“I wonder what sort of conscience some of us have, how can you sit and preside and lock people up for years and even sentence some to death and yet you are not doing what the constitution says you should do by occupying that vital position.”

The president said his administration is determined to recover stolen funds and properties within and outside the country.

He said all the recovered properties would be sold and the money put in the nation’s treasury to make it impossible to return such properties to the looters in future.

“So, we are recovering as much as we can under the system and this time around I said the properties will be sold and the money put in the treasury,” he said.

“The last time they were given back their properties but this time around whoever comes after me no matter how generous he is, he cannot take money from the treasury give it to individuals, it will be impossible.

“But anybody who cannot account for what he has and for refusing to declare, we will have to do something about it.”.

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