Dennis Aghanya, a former media aide of President Muhammadu Buhari, has been exposed as the head of An Anti-Corruption and Research Based Data Initiative which filed a petition against Nigeria’s Chief Justice Walter Onnoghen alleging non-declaration of the assets of the top government official.
The group alleged that Onnoghen failed to declare ownership of his domiciliary accounts.
The group said its petition was necessitated by the closeness of the 2019 elections and the importance of the judiciary before and after the elections.
It said the petition was submitted “bearing in mind the imminence of the 2019 elections and the overwhelming role of the judiciary both before and after the election.”
Aghanya is the executive secretary of ARDI, a civil society group that petitioned the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) over alleged non-declaration of assets by the CJN.
He was Buhari’s aide between 2009 and 2011 and the pioneer national publicity secretary of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change, CPC which is now the All Progressives Congress, APC. He is also a founding member of The Buhari Organisation (TBO).
When the national assembly had a face-off with the president over the lack of due process on the purchase of $496 million aircraft from the US, Aghanya appealed to the leadership of the national assembly to show understanding.
“For anyone to think of impeachment process against him is not right. We have many problems at hand. Violation of a constitutional provision is bad but it is worse to act in an immoral manner,” Aghanya had said.
In his recent petition, Aghanya accused the CJN of maintaining domiciliary foreign currencies accounts said to be contrary to relevant laws, especially for public office holders.
The group said its petition became necessary “bearing in mind the imminence of the 2019 General Elections and the overwhelming roles of the Judicial Arm both before and after”.
Chief Justice Onnoghen was absent at his arraignment before the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, on Monday, January 14, 2019 over failure to declare his assets after his appointment as CJN.