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Onnoghen: Is Olanipekun Still On Board?

Read more about Chief Wole Olanipekun’s (SAN), current stand on CJN Walter Onnoghen’s ongoing case, former minister Bayo Ojo’s not-so-secret visit to the embattled CJN, and other stories in this presidential election eve’s edition of The Interview Confidential…

Interview Confidential: bring you stories behind the news
Interview Confidential: bring you stories behind the news

There are indications that Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), one of the earliest senior lawyers to come to the defence of the suspended chief justice of Nigeria, may have stepped down.

Although Interview Confidential (IC) could not reach Olanipekun to confirm the news, we gathered that wave after wave of disturbing materials on Justice Walter Onnoghen may have forced Olanipekun to review his position.

Insiders also added that Olanipekun’s decision to step down may have been quickened by Onnoghen’s refusal of advice to resign. Olanipekun was conspicuously absent when the embattled CJN appeared before the Code of Conduct Tribunal to take his plea on Friday.

…Bayo Ojo’s Futile Peace Mission To Onnoghen

The late-night visit of former Attorney General and Minister of Justice Bayo Ojo (SAN), to the Abuja residence of suspended CJN, Walter Onnoghen, on Tuesday was supposed to have been a secret peace mission.

A few retired ranking justices had asked Ojo to approach Onnoghen and persuade him to step down to save himself and the judiciary any further misery.

Ojo embarked on the mission believing that even if he failed it would be on record that he failed trying. Unfortunately for the learned silk, he had barely left the residence of the CJN when his visit was leaked to top shots under the tri-coloured umbrella that he had come to force the CJN to resign.

They immediately fed the news into their political machine, providing intimate details of Ojo’s visit, including the time of his arrival!

A statement was then issued saying the government was plotting to stamp the CJN’s fake signature in a resignation letter if efforts to arrest him fail.

We’re watching the drama on 3D!

What Is FIRS Asking From Your Bank?

There are strong indications that the Federal Inland Revenue Service has written to the banks, asking them to put lien on the accounts of hundreds of companies that may be in default of taxes.

Multiple sources told IC last week that they received letters from FIRS with long lists of companies whose accounts should be frozen.

“In one of the lists that I saw,” a source said, “there was a very long list of different companies, not fewer than 2,000, whose accounts the FIRS has directed should be frozen.”

There were conflicting reports about whether the FIRS directive is solely about taxes, or whether it is politically motivated, especially given the timing.

Social Media Gets Election Big Brother

Active on social media users have to be very careful, at least until the elections are over.
IC gathered, reliably, that a combined team of the security services will step up tracking of the social media space for clues of “any potentially destablising or disruptive posts or information.”

The liaison between some high profile local politicians and foreign election observers is also of interest to the agencies.

Although Boko Haram, ISIS West Africa, IPOB, Niger Delta militants have been prioritised, there have also been newspaper reports describing some foreign observers as “political agents” of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

According to the reports, these observers have a predetermined agenda while in Nigeria, which is to promote Obasanjo’s preferred candidate.

One particular agency is concerned that even though the non-signing of the Electoral Amendment Bill has ruled out electronic transmission of results, hackers may have infiltrated some foreign observer groups.

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