Justice Onnoghen to know fate this week
The Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) has fixed a date when it will rule if former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, is guilty or not in the case of false and non-declaration of some of his assets leveled against him by the Muhammadu Buhari-led government.
The Danladi Umar-led three-man bench made this known on Monday, saying that it will by Thursday, April 18, give its final judgment on the asset declaration case of Onnoghen, who supposedly resigned his position as the CJN on April 4.
The announcement came after the prosecution led by Mr. Aliyu Umar (SAN), and the defence led by Mr. Okon Efut (SAN), adopted their final addresses during this Monday proceedings on the matter.
In their final arguments, the defence had insisted that the prosecution was unable to prove the six counts beyond reasonable doubt as required by law and prayed the tribunal to sack the case.
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Efut, who argued that the statement Onnoghen made to the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) was not confessional as supposed by the prosecution, told the CCT that the charges against the defendant was incompetent and unconstitutional as they were based on the provisions of the Code of Conduct Tribunal and Bureau Act which were in conflict with the relevant provisions of the constitution.
However, the prosecution teams said in its final address that the defence team was only attempting to redefine what constituted “proof beyond a reasonable doubt”.
Umar then asked the CCT to rule that the prosecution certainly proved the case beyond reasonable doubt and “return a guilty verdict”.
After hearing from both team, Umar adjourned the matter till Thursday for final ruling, noting that the verdict would be delivered along with two pending rulings on Onnoghen’s applications.
One of the applications which the tribunal is yet to give ruling on is Onnoghen’s application challenging the jurisdiction of the tribunal to hear the case. The other is where the former CJN asked the CCT chairman to disqualify himself from further presiding over the case for being allegedly biased.