- Suspended CJN, Justice Onnoghen, did not attend his CCT trial
- Onnoghen's lawyer told the tribunal that his client was suffering from toothache and high blood pressure
- The prosecution counsel confirmed that he got a copy of the medical report concerning the defendant
- Onnoghen is facing trial over allegations of non-declaration of his assets
The suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria Walter Onnoghen was absent from the Tuesday, March 12, proceedings of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, for his trial over allegations of non-declaration of assets.
Daily Trust reports that while explaining his absence to the three-man bench of the CCT, his lawyer, Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), said he was informed on Monday night, March 11, that his client was suffering from toothache and he tendered a medical report to support the claim.
Legit.ng gathered that the prosecution counsel, Aliyu Umar (SAN), confirmed that he got a copy of the medical report concerning the defendant, signed by Dr. Francis Uche, the medical director of Ideal Medical Services.
He said any observation he would have made was effectively wiped out by what the doctor said about the blood pressure of the defendant which was said to have risen to 410/121.
“As an old man, I know how dangerous that could be," Umar said.
He added that the medical report suggested that Onnoghen was given 72 hours bed rest, adding that the presence of the defendant is as important as the prosecution to continue with the trial, although prosecution witnesses were available to go ahead.
“Under the circumstance, I will concede that there is a justification for the defendant to be absent.
“Taking into consideration the order of the court yesterday on day-to-day proceedings and the health condition of the defendant, I urge the court to adjourn the matter till Monday when we can have 5 days straight,” the prosecutor said.
The tribunal chairman, Danladi Umar, thereafter, held that, in view of the medical report explaining the absence of the defendant in court and in consideration of the level of his blood pressure and with the prosecution having agreed for an adjournment till Monday, the tribunal conceded to the adjournment of the matter to Monday, March 18, for hearing.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) on Monday, March 11, directed that proceedings in the trial of Justice Walter Onnoghen should be conducted daily.
Danladi Umar, the chairman of the tribunal gave the ruling, relying on the provision of section 296(3) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) for daily proceedings in the case.
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