The trial of suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, resumed in court Monday in the case of alleged false declaration of assets pressed against him by the federal government.
Onnoghen who was unable to appear at the last court sitting over tooth ache and blood pressure challenges appeared before Justice Danladi Umar-led Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) on Monday.
The court also admitted the first set of exhibits in the ongoing trial.
The head of the prosecution team, Mr. Aliyu Umar (SAN) tendered exhibits which included petition written by a civil society group which informed the six counts preferred against the suspended CJN and two assets declaration forms (Forms CCB1) submitted by the defendant in 2014 and 2015.
The prosecution was accompanied by a brief introductory testimony of the first witness, Mr. James Apala, a Senior Investigation Officer with the Code of Conduct Bureau.
The petition was sent to the Code of Conduct Bureau by the civil society group, Anti-Corruption and Research-Based Data Initiative and was accepted as Exhibit 1.
The defence team led by Chief Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN) who did not object to the exhibit noted that issues around it would be addressed at the final stage.
In his testimony, Apala narrated that he received the petition against the suspended CJN on January 9, 2019 from Chief Dennis Aghanya of the civil society group.
“Thereafter, the team wrote to the Federal Political Officers Unit (of the bureau), Asokoro, requesting the defendant’s asset declarations received from 2000 to 2009.
“The department responded. The two asset declaration forms were examined and filed in the case file,’’ he added.
Ruling, the tribunal chairman, Danladi Umar, admitted the forms as exhibits with a caveat that the defence would have the right to address the issue in their final address.
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