Thursday, March 21, 2019

FG Closes Case Against Onnoghen With 3 Witnesses

The Federal Government on Thursday closed its case in the trial of the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, on charges of false and non-declaration of assets before the Code of Conduct Tribunal in Abuja.

Although the prosecution, led by Mr Aliyu Umar (SAN), had proposed to call six witnesses to prove its six charges, it closed its case after calling only three of them.

Umar announced his decision to close the prosecution’s case after the third witness, Ifeoma Okeagbue, an official of Standard Chatered Bank, concluded her testimony on Thursday.

The lead defence counsel, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN)subsequently sought the permission of the Danladi Umar-led tribunal to converse with Onnoghen in the dock.

After a brief interaction with the suspended CJN, Awomolo announced that he had opted to file a no-case submission.

“My Lord, we will like to take advantage of our right under Section 303 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 to file a no-case submission,” he said.

This implies that the defence will be contending that the charges should be struck out on the grounds that prosecution has failed to make out a case against the defendant, thus there will be no need for the suspended CJN to enter any defence.

Responding, the tribunal chairman ordered the defence to file and serve its no-case submission on the prosecution which must also be replied to before March 29.

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