Onnoghen misses CCT hearing as trial opens


By Evelyn Okakwu

The suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, was absent at Tuesday’s Code of Conduct Tribunal hearing on medical grounds.

Mr Onnoghen, who is facing charges of not declaring his assets, wrote the tribunal, informing it that he had tooth ache and could not attend the hearing due to a medical appointment he had with his doctors.

The lead counsel representing Mr Onnoghen, Adegboga Awomolo, presented a letter from the hospital where Mr Onnoghen is expected to be meeting with medical officials on the appointment.

Reading through the letter, the lead prosecution lawyer, Aliu Umar, said he would concede to the report that the defendant had a medical challenge.

According to Mr Aliu, the content of the medical letter showed that Mr Onnoghen was also battling a high blood pressure and that the CJN was ordered to remain on bed rest for the next 72 hours.

A three-member panel of the tribunal led by Danladi Umar therefore adjourned the matter till March 15, following a request for an adjournment by the prosecution.

“In view of the medical report presented by the defendant and the fact that the request was conceded by the prosecution, the tribunal hereby adjourns matter till Monday, March 15 as requested by the prosecution,” said Mr Umar.

Mr Onnoghen is facing trial on alleged false asset charges.

The tribunal had ordered a daily hearing of the matter on Monday, after reserving ruling in an application challenging its jurisdiction.


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