CCT Grants Onnoghen Bail, Adjourns Trial Till March 11
The Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) has adjourned the case of non-declaration of assets involving the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, till March 11, 2019.
Prior to the adjournment of the case, Onnoghen was also granted bail on self-recognition.
At the resumed hearing of the case on Friday, his counsel, Mr Chris Uche said although they were ready for arraignment, 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.
‘Not Guilty Plea’
Thereafter, six counts were read to him, all of which he pleaded not guilty to.
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In count one, he was accused of failing to fill and submit his assets declaration form within three months of being appointed the CJN.
The tribunal chairman then stopped the registrar from reading the charges and asked the CJN’s counsel if he wanted the plea to be read or take the applications.
But the counsel asked the court to proceed.
In count two, Onnoghen 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.
In count three, he was accused of not declaring a domiciliary euro account with a commercial bank which had been in operation since 2011.
In count four, he was accused of falsely declaring after he was sworn in as CJN by failing to declare a pound sterling domiciliary account.
In count five, he was accused of failing to declare an e-saver savings account with a commercial bank which has been in operation since 2011.
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.
His counsel 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.