Suspended CJN, Walter Onnoghen demands apology from the Federal Government

– Walter Onnoghen, the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria CJN, has declared that the federal government owe him an apology

– The suspended CJN has said that the federal government lacks the evidence to prove that he is guilty of any offence to warrant his appearing before the tribunal

–Onnoghen said that essential elements of offence in each count of the charge must be proved before a prima-facie case can be said to have been established against him.

Walter Onnoghen, the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria declared on Friday, March 29, that he deserves an apology from the federal government since the government is unable to prove before the tribunal that he is guilty.

The embattled suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria has referred to the evidences presented against him by the federal government as “hearsay, irrelevant and useless evidence”.

This was declared by Chief Adegboyega Awomolo, the lead of his legal tea, based on section 303 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, ACJA, 2015. Jẹ has claimed that his accusers were unable to establish a prima facie case.

The CJN also stated that while the federal government alleged that he did not declare his assets, “there is no report of investigation before the tribunal to show that this is true”.

The suspended CJN also said that the federal government lacked evidence that he did not file declaration of asset forms between 2005 and 2016.

He argued that the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) did not completely comply with the constitution from which it derived its powers.

Chief Awomolo also mentioned that: “There is evidence on record that the CCB did not substantially comply with the law. “Even if there was non declaration, there must be verification. That was not done. There is no offence known to the law in this matter.

“The authorised person must have investigated the statement in the declaration form and found that the declaration was false.

“That person or authority must give evidence before the tribunal. In this case, what we have are mere speculation, assumptions and imaginative contrivance. Therefore this tribunal should not compel the defendant to come and defend speculations.

“We urge your lordships to uphold this no- cases submission, discharge and acquit the defendant. Likewise, my lords should direct whoever was responsible for this trial to apologize to the CJN for bringing this shame to the judiciary.”


Read Also: Suspended Onnoghen Set To Be Judged By Supreme Court On May 17th

Onnoghen has said that based on the initial resolve by the tribunal in a similar charge against the Senate president, Bukola Saraki, neither the EFCC nor the Department of State Service (DSS), have a role to play in relation to proceedings before the CCT.


He said that most of the documents tendered through the three witnesses that testified before the tribunal, emanated from the EFCC. Onnoghen said: “It is our submission that this document addressed to EFCC in the tribunal’s proceeding is illegal and your lordship should not countenance an illegal document.

“It is only when credible evidence is led to the fact that he did not file, that the burden shifts to the defence”, he argued. Onnoghen’s lawyer further maintained that counts 2,3,4,5 and 6 of the charge were invalid as it failed to disclose essential elements of the offence of making false declarations.

“It is mandatory for the prosecution to prove that there is verification of exhibit 1 and 2 (Onnoghen’s Asset Declaration Forms of 2014 and 2016).

“They must show that the forms have been verified by the authority or persons authorized by the CCB “Without verification by the authorised person, there cannot be allegation of false declaration of assets.

“It is not the duty of the prosecutor or the defence to verify, it is the responsibility of the authorised person,” he mentioned.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *