CCT: Prosecution closes case against Onnoghen after three witnesses

The prosecution counsel has closed the case against the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) after calling three witnesses to the stand.
Two of those witnesses testified before the tribunal in favour of the Federal Government in addition to the first prosecution witness who testified on Monday, bringing the witnesses to three. Although the Federal Government had listed six witnesses, its counsel, Aliyu Umar, however, announced that the government has closed its case, adding that he is offering them to the defence for cross-examination if they so wished.
However, counsel to the CJN, Adegboyega Awomolo, said the defence does not need the witnesses and the prosecution can go ahead to close its case if it is done then informed the tribunal of its intention to invoke section 303 of the Administration of the Criminal Justice Act, 2015 to enter a no-case submission.
He pleaded with the tribunal to allow him prepare a written address and urged the chairman to order the registry to make a record of proceedings available to him to guide him in the written address.
The prosecution did not object to the application, prompting the tribunal chairman, Danladi Umar, to make an order on the registry to avail parties in the matter with the record of proceedings. He also ordered that the record must be made available to the parties on Monday and adjourned hearing in the no case submission to March 29.
Earlier on the CJN’s account officer in her evidence told the tribunal that Justice Onnoghen operates five different accounts with her bank in Abuja. According to her, two of the accounts are naira accounts, one savings and the other current, while the remaining three in pounds, dollars and euro.
The witness said she met the defendant once in 2015 as a relationship manager and would not know if the accounts had been active since they were opened in 2009.
Under cross-examination by the CJN Onnoghen’s lawyer, Miss Okagbue said that Onnoghen never made any foreign transfer from the accounts.
The witness, however, admitted that Onnoghen had a facility of $500,000 as at January 2019 with the bank secured by his investment in bonds and other investment.
She further admitted that Justice Onnoghen as a disciplined account holder was encouraged by the bank to invest in profit yielding investment and that interest in the investment are regularly credited to his account, adding that the bank made an investment on his behalf from his account.
Earlier, the second prosecution witness, Awal Yakassai, under cross-examination admitted that two assets declaration forms submitted to the Code of Conduct Bureau, by Onnoghen, three years ago have till date not been verified.
He also told the tribunal that contrary to the allegations that the CJN owned fifty-five houses, he has only five houses one of which was sold to him by the Federal Government.
Justice Onnoghen is being prosecuted by the Federal Government on a six-count charge bordering on alleged failure to disclose some of his assets in his asset declaration forms submitted to the Code of Conduct Bureau.