Onnoghen closes case at CCT after one witness

Chief Justice of Nigeria Hon. Justice Walter Onnoghen

The suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Onnoghen has closed his defence before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) on charges of false and non-declaration of assets.

Onnoghen had on Monday called his driver, Lawal Olanrewaju Busari, as his first witness.

He had subsequently asked the tribunal to issue a subpoena to invite one Mrs. Theresa Nwafor, a Director with the Code of Conduct Bureau in Edo state, to appear as his second witness.

However, at the resumed hearing on Wednesday, his lawyer, Chief Chris Uche (SAN), informed the tribunal of the defence decision to close their case.

“After a very deep review and consideration of evidence already before the tribunal, the defence has come to a conclusion to close our case.

“Pursuant to Paragraph 14 of the Practice Direction of this Tribunal, we are applying to file our final written addresses,” he said.

He asked for 14 days to file the written addresses.

However, prosecution counsel, Aliyu Umar (SAN) said because the time for the filing of written addresses was not provided for in the Practice Direction of the tribunal, it leaves it at the discretion of the tribunal.

It is observed that Chief Chris Uche is the third senior advocate leading Onnoghen’s defence team since the trial commenced on January 14.

At the commencement of the trial, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN) led about 30 other senior advocates for the defence.

Subsequently, Asiwaju Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN) took over the defence team following the perceived withdrawal of Olanipekun from the trial.

At the end of Monday’s proceedings, Awomolo issued a scathing statement, criticising the entire proceedings before the tribunal and giving the impression of withdrawing from the trial.

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