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Nigeria’s suspended CJN gets bail as trial adjourns till March 11

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Nigeria’s suspended CJN gets bail as trial adjourns till March 11

The Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) on Friday adjourned the case of non-declaration of assets involving the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, Mr Walter Onnoghen, till March 11, 2019. The court also granted him bail on self-recognition.

At the resumed hearing of the case on Friday, his counsel, Mr Chris Uche said they were ready for arraignment but the defence had pending applications.

According to him, a bench warrant had been issued to his client.

He, therefore, asked that the order be quashed before commencing the business of the day since the defendant (Onnoghen) had appeared voluntarily.

Chairman of the Tribunal, Mr Danladi Umar, thereafter, set aside the bench warrant on the condition that he must make himself available throughout the trial.

Thereafter, the counts were being read to him.

Count one is accusing him of failing to fill and submit his asset declaration form within three months of been appointed the Cjn to which he entered a not guilty plea.

However, the tribunal chairman stopped the registrar from reading the charges and now asked the CJN’s counsel if he wants the plea to be read or take the applications.

His counsel asked the court to proceed. The counts are being read all over again.

In count two, he was accused of falsely declaring his asset after being sworn-in as CJN by failing to declare a domiciliary account which had been in operation since 2011.

He again entered a not guilty plea.

In count three, he was accused of omitting to declare a domiciliary euro account with a commercial bank which had been in operation since 2011.

He again enters a not guilty plea.

In count four, he was accused of also falsely declaring after he was sworn in as CJN by failing to declare a pound sterling domiciliary account.

He again entered a not guilty plea.

In count five, he was accused of on the same day for failing to declare an e-saver savings account with a commercial bank which has been in operation since 2011.

He again entered a not guilty plea.

In count six, he was accused of failing to declare a naira account with a commercial bank in Abuja which has been in operation since 2011.

He again entered a not guilty plea.

His counsel, Mr Chris Uche, then requested for bail in self-recognizance which was granted immediately.

He also informed the court that most members of the Tribunal will need to travel for the elections, and therefore, it would be necessary to adjourn the case until after the election – an application that was not opposed by the prosecution.

Consequently, Justice Umar agreed to adjourn the case till March 11 for the hearing of all pending applications, having taken full consideration of the plea of the defendant’s counsel, as well as the non-objection by the prosecution.

Shola Adefuwa And Agency Report

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