EFCC grills Agi, SAN over payment to Onnoghen – Independent Observers

EFCC grills Agi, SAN over payment to Onnoghen

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Detectives from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have quizzedJoe Agi,  a Senior Advocate of Nigeria over alleged payment of about $30,000 into one of the domiciliary accounts of the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen.

Agi is said to be the referee to the CJN when one of the domiciliary accounts was opened.

The EFCC operatives also searched the home of the senior lawyer in Abuja early yesterday after obtaining a court order.

It was also learnt that more suspects might be arrested in connection with the ongoing screening of Justice Onnoghen’s accounts.

About $3 million, allegedly undeclared by the CJN, was rated  as “suspicious” by detectives.

EFCC detectives traced about $30,000 deposit into the CJN’s account by the SAN.

The purpose of the payment  is being probed, although the CJN  had hinted that the huge cash in his domiciliary accounts was from farming.

Sources close to EFCC said the $30,000 payments from Agi, which were in three tranches of $10,000 each into one of the domiciliary accounts of Onnoghen, were discovered in the process of investigating the CJN’s accounts.

Agi was then invited for interaction  on why he paid the $30,000 into the CJN’s account while an application for a valid warrant to search his house in Abuja was filed at the court.

More suspects are expected to be invited for interrogation by EFCC as investigations into the various bank accounts of the suspended CJN continue.

Most of the lodgments in the CJN’s accounts , which were effected between 2012 and 2016 respectively, were undeclared in his Assets Declaration Form.

The NFIU was mandated to restrict  the operation of five accounts of the CJN with a balance of about $3million.

The accounts in the Standard Chartered Bank are coded as USD No. 870001062650; Euro account No. 93001062686; Pound Sterling A/CNo. 285001062679; e-Saver Savings (Naira) account No. 5001062693; and a  Naira A/C No. 0001062667.

An intelligence report on the CJN’s accounts reads in part: “Pattern  of structured  payments of $10,000.00 each in 2012. For example, a total of $630,000.00 was credited to the accounts using this pattern. ”Similarly structured payments of $10,000.00 amounting to $297,800.00, $50,000.00 and $36,000.00 were deposited in the account in 2013, 2015 and 2016 respectively.

“There was also a credit of $121,116.00 into the account from  2014 to 2016 from Life Friend Plc. The payments were in four installments, of $30,279.00 each. These payments suggest the suspect has investments

“ A payment at $482,966.00 from Alicia Redemption Pro and shortly after, $800,000.00 was invested in SCB Investment subscription. We are in the process of verifying these transactions;

“Other suspicious transactions in the account are credit of $19,764.00 from Pur of Noble and seven (7) payments of $3,250.00 each amounting to $22,750.00 from Lloyds TSB.

On the pound sterling (GBP), the investigative team discovered “a self- transfer of £40,268.40 into the account on May 31 2016.”

“There were also self-deposits by the suspect of £49,760.00 from July 2015 to September, 2016  but  the balance as at September 30, 2016 was £108,348.00,” the report added.

Regarding the Naira account, the report said: “The following highlights some of the suspicious activities in the account: ”A transfer of N41,262.000.00 ($260,000) was made from the Dollar account. The money was used to make payment of N41million to Ad hoc Committee on the Sale of Federal Government Houses, suggesting that he bought a property with proceeds of the transfer;

“The only other significant transactions in the accounts are six (6) structured cash payments of N500,000.00 each and one payment of N700,000.00 amounting to N3.7mlllion from November, 2013 to August, 2016.”

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