President Buhari has accepted the voluntary retirement of Justice Walter Onnoghen as the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN).
In a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the President wrote: ‘‘President Buhari has accepted the voluntary retirement from service of Hon. Justice Walter Onnoghen as Chief Justice of Nigeria, effective from May 28, 2019.
The President thanked Justice Onnoghen for his service to the Federal Republic of Nigeria and wished him the best of retirement life.” His retirement benefits in cash and kind will cost taxpayers about N2.5 billion.
As part of the package for retired chief justice, a house will be built for him in Abuja with a nine-digit sum for furnishing — in addition to a severance gratuity that is 300% of his annual basic salary of N3,363,972.50, as well as pension for life. He is also entitled to a number of domestic staff and sundry allowances for personal upkeep.
Onnoghen has been enmeshed in a false asset declaration scandal since January 2019, as upon resuming office as CJN, failed to declare a domiciliary US dollar account, a domiciliary euro account, a domiciliary (pound sterling) account, an e-saver savings (naira) account and a naira account, all maintained with Standard Chartered Bank (Nig.) Ltd in Abuja as part of the compulsory asset declaration form.
Onnoghen, 68, was due for retirement in 2020, but he turned in his resignation letter as CJN on April 4, 2019, to save himself from prosecution.