The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has described as “untrue and evil” reports that its operatives had invaded the Abuja residence of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, and “arrested” the nation’s prime jurist.
The spokesman of the commission, Tony Orilade said in a statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday that the fake news “is being spread by evil men and women to get evil results.”
There had been reports suggesting that EFCC operatives on Tuesday surrounded Onnoghen’s home.
The nation’s chief justice is accused of wrongful declaration of assets, and faces six charges at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT. Onnoghen was absent from the tribunal on Monday when the case opened.
His lawyers challenged the jurisdiction of the tribunal and argued that Onnoghen was not properly served the summons. The matter was adjourned until next week. Later, a federal court issued an injunction stopping the trial temporarily.
A Federal High Court in Abuja however asked the federal government to put on hold plans to arraign Mr Onnoghen.
Former minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode yesterday claimed that the anti-graft agency laid siege on Onnoghen’s home. He wrote on his Twitter page: “Why have the EFCC surrounded the home of CJN Onnoghen and why are they seeking to arrest him?
“These people want Nigeria to burn! Buhari call off your dogs before it is too late!
“This is a democracy and not a gestapo state! In the name of God let this madness stop,” Fani-Kayode tweeted.
Reacting in the statement, EFCC said; “The attention of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has been drawn to the falsehood which has been spreading on the social media that the EFCC has arrested the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen.
“This is not only a figment of the imagination of the purveyor of the fake news, but an evil machination by the creator and carriers of the news aimed at creating anarchy in the country.
“For the record, the EFCC never went to the house of the CJN for arrest neither was invitation extended to him.
“Several calls and short messages received all point to the fact that the brains behind the fake news had one thing in mind: to act as agent of destabilization. We would not give in to their plots.
“One of the architect of the fake news, Femi Fani-Kayode, was quoted as saying… Another arrowhead of the fake news, Yinka Odumakin shared a non-existent video which has gone viral.
“We want to assure Nigerians that while we would fight corruption in line with the mandate setting up the Commission, agents of darkness, in the likes of Femi Fani-Kayode, Yinka Odumakin and his cohorts, would never be able to manipulate the people against the Commission.
“We also want to assure Fani-Kayode, Yinka Odumakin and other purveyors of the evil news to be ready to defend their actions in the court of law as the EFCC will file libel suit against them without further delay.”