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Why I dealt with Onnoghen – Buhari tells Yoruba leaders  



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President Muhammadu Buhari hosted leaders of a pan-Yoruba organization, the Afenifere, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Tuesday who were on courtesy visit. National Daily learned that the president at an in-door meeting told his visitors that he had to reluctantly deal with the former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, because of his anti-corruption drive, first, suspended him before the CJN voluntary retirement on May 28.

President Buhari stated that he reluctantly `dealt’ with former CJN Onnoghen on the discovery of huge amount of money in foreign and local currencies that were traced to him.

“I will tell you as Afenifere, that was why 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.

“I wonder what sort of conscience some of us have, how can you seat 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 institution.

“On fighting corruption, you know it – again I don’t mind repeating myself even though I sound like a broken record, as a military head of state, I took everyone to prison and pronounced them guilty until they can prove themselves innocent.

“We put tribunals in all geo-political zones and they investigated those who were in charge of government money and took all of them in prison until they explained what happened to government’s money. Even I was detained, this is Nigeria.

“That was why I decided to put on agbada and see. I attempted three times up to Supreme Court and winning the fourth time thanking God and technology, I am now qualified to be a solider and a politician.

“… now what I do is when a person cannot justify what he has or fails to declare as the constitution specifies, some of them dear to almighty God that their property doesn’t belong to them until we show them their bank accounts and their companies then we have some peace,” the president highlighted.

President Buhari reiterated that his administration is determined to recover all stolen funds and properties within and outside Nigeria. He emphasized that all 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.

“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,” President Buhari said.

National Daily gathered that the Yoruba socio-cultural group led by Ayo Fasanmi, expressed concerns over security, education, youth employment, power supply and agriculture in the country.

National Daily further gathered that the national leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who was in the Afenifere delegation to the President, encouraged Nigerians to be united and avoid conflicts in order to ensure speedy development and progress of the country.

Tinubu had declared that the Yoruba will continue to rally behind Buhari because of his track record and good will for Nigeria.