- The suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria have been asked to begin his defence at the Code of Conduct Tribunal
- The order followed the CCT ruling on a no-case submission made by CJN, Justice Walter Onnoghen
- Chairman of the CCT in his ruling on Friday, March 29, dismissed the application made by Onnoghen
The Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) on Friday, March 29, dismissed the no case submission filed by the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, in the ongoing trial over alleged false assets declaration.
Chairman of the CCT, Danladi Umar, held that Justice Onnoghen must enter his defence on Monday, April 1.
Earlier, Onnoghen, accused the Code of Conduct Bureau of not following set Standard Operation Procedures in instituting the case against him.
Onnoghen, through his Counsel, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo, SAN, also said that it was illegal and unconstitutional for the prosecution not to comply with rules by investigating the allegation before filling the case.
The suspended CJN added that what the prosecution filed, were mainly hearsay devoid of the true position of the issue in the assets declaration
He said the allegation on him, were documentary hearsay which is not admisible and should be expunge.
NAN reports that Onnoghen is arraigned at the CCT following a charge against him brought by the Code of Conduct Bureau in January.
The CCB accused Onnoghen of failing to declare his assets from June 2005, after he became a Justice of the Supreme Court till December 2016, two months after the Federal Government raided the homes of several judges, including those of the Supreme Court in October 2018.
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According to the six-count charge brought against him, Mr Onnoghen is also accused of false declaration of his assets, following his alleged failure to include some domiciliary accounts managed by the Standard Chartered Bank.
The accounts, created in 2011 and used for the transfer of foreign currencies, were omitted in one of two forms filled on December 14, 2016, by Mr Onnoghen.
According to section 3(d) of the CCB act, the Bureau is empowered to receive complaints about cases of non-compliance with or breach of the act.
The section also empowers the CCB to refer such non-compliance to the CCT where the public officers accused of the alleged breach, will be tried according to the provisions of the act.
NAN reports that the prosecution team led by Aliyu Umar, presented three witnesses before closing its case on March 21.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that Onnoghen, had disclosed that he has no case to answer following the federal government's decision to close its non asset declaration case against the CJN at the Code of Conduct Tribunal.
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Recall that prior to the development, the embattled CJN was standing trial bordering on failure to declare some of his assets as stipulated by law.
He was suspended on January 25 by President Muhammadu Buhari to allow his trial to be fully activated before Justice Umar Danladi-led CCB.
He was replaced by Justice Tank Mohammad in acting capacity.
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