Onnoghen closes case in alleged false assets declaration charges

Suspended CJN, Walter Onnoghen arriving the Code of Conduct Tribunal today
Suspended CJN, Walter Onnoghen arriving the Code of Conduct Tribunal today

The suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Onnoghen, has closed his case in his ongoing trial for alleged false assets declaration.

Mr Onnoghen is facing trial on six counts for allegedly failing to declare his asset when due and for omitting a number of details in the declaration form.

He was arraigned at the tribunal by the Code of Conduct Bureau on January 14.

Mr Onnoghen had opened his defence on April 1, after the prosecution closed its case against him.

He had also asked the tribunal for an adjournment to bring a second witness after the first defence witness testified at the tribunal on the last adjourned date.

On Wednesday, however, the CJN told the tribunal through his lawyers that he was ready to close his defence.

According to a lawyer who spoke for the defence team, Chris Uche, the defence counsel reviewed the evidence brought by the prosecution and considered it wise for the defence to close its case.

Subsequently, the tribunal Chairman, Danladi Umar, gave the defence team three days to file its written addresses before the court.

Mr Umar said the three days starts on Thursday, April 4, and is expected to end on Monday, April 8.

He added that the prosecution would then be allowed three more days to respond to the written addresses from Tuesday, April, 9 to Thursday, April, 11.

After receiving the written addresses, the defence team is expected to give a final reply on points of law, so that parties return to the tribunal on Monday, April 15, for the adoption of written addresses.

Mr Umar added that the tribunal would decide on the date for judgement, after hearing from parties concerning the written addresses.

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