The trial of suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Samuel Onnoghen over alleged non-declaration of assets will resume today before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).
Onnoghen at the last sitting pleaded not guilty to the six- count charge filed against him by the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB).
He was accused of failure to declare his assets between June, 2005 and December, 2016 contrary to provisions of section 15(1) of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act Cap C15 LFN 2004 and punishable under section 23(2) a, b, and c of the same Act.
Upon his plea, he was admitted to bail on self-recognizance.
Daily Trust reports that while his arraignment was initially scheduled for January 14, the suspended CJN did not come to the tribunal. He also did not come to the tribunal on January 22, January 28, February 4 and February 13, which led the tribunal to issue a warrant for his arrest on February 13.
However, upon his presence at the tribunal on February 15, his lawyer, Chris Uche (SAN) asked that the bench warrant order be discharged with the defendant having appeared voluntarily without the execution of the bench warrant.
Delivering ruling on the application, the tribunal Chairman, Danladi Umar held that “The bench warrant earlier issued, since the defendant made himself available voluntarily without the execution of the bench warrant, the tribunal hereby set aside the warrant on the condition that the defendant must henceforth make himself available throughout the trial.”
He subsequently adjourned the matter to March 11 for hearing of all pending applications.