Mr Joe Agi, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria has opened up on the $30,000 he deposited in the account of the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria Justice Walter Onnoghen.
Mr Agi in a statement on Thisday explained that though he convinced the suspended CJN to open the said domiciliary account with the Standard Chartered Bank ten years ago with initial deposit of $30,000, but insisted that the said deposit was never a bribe to the CJN.
On the $30,000 traced to the Justice account with Standard Chartered Bank , Mr Agi said “In the year 2009, I brought to his knowledge that he can open a domiciliary account instead of travelling with cash from Nigeria to abroad on seminars, holidays, conferences or medical trips. My Lord Justice Onnoghen said he had no idea since opening of foreign account was forbidden for Public Officers. I informed him that domiciliary account is not a foreign bank account as it is opened and operated within the local banks in Nigeria.”
“It was on this note that I went to my banker in Standard Chartered Bank and obtained Account Opening Forms for him as a friend and Senior Brother. He completed the Forms and I refereed him. He gave me $30,000 being left over of his allowances for overseas seminars, holidays, conferences or medical trips to deposit for him as the first deposit. This I did in 2009 i.e 10 years ago. After that he operated the account himself without me paying even a cent into that account till date.”
“Now 10 years after, I am again being vilified and accused of giving Justice Onnoghen bribe. If I may ask; bribe for which case? In the Supreme Court panel they sit in 5 or 7 persons, was the $30,000 for the 5 or 7 Justices? And for which case? This is another huge joke aimed at vilifying my person by the same cabal who are hell bent on tarnishing my image as an aftermath of the exposure of the Paris Club fraud,” the SAN lamented
The senior lawyer alleged that the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami and those he described as ‘a cabal’ had been after him since he exposed and secured the refund of what he called a fraudulent deduction of $3.18billion from local governments account by the federal government part of the Paris Club refund.
According to him, rather than the government to pay him his legal fees of over N70 million for exposing and winning the case in court, Malami and the same cabal had framed him up with trump up charges including bribing the suspended CJN.