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Onnoghen case begins at the Code of Conduct Tribunal in Abuja

The federal government has opened its case by calling its first prosecution witness against the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, at the Code of Conduct Tribunal in Abuja.

The witness, Mr James Apala, a senior investigation officer with the Code of Conduct Bureau, who gave his evidence-in-chief, was cross-examined by the defence and re-examined by the prosecution before he was discharged.

During the proceedings that lasted about five hours, the defence led by Chief Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), alleged, without a rebuttal from the witness during cross-examination, that the six counts preferred against Onnoghen  had been prepared before investigation was concluded.

In the course of the hearing, the three-man tribunal led by Danladi Umar admitted as exhibits six sets of documents which were tendered by the lead prosecuting counsel, Mr. Aliyu Umar (SAN).

The documents admitted as exhibits were six counts of Onnoghen’s alleged false and non-declaration of some bank accounts; two assets declaration forms (forms CCB1) submitted by the defendant to the CCB in 2016 as well as were Onnoghen’s account-opening package of his standard chartered bank account.

The CCT had admitted the documents as exhibits but noted that the defence reserved the right to challenge them at the later stage of the trial.

The trial was adjourned till Thursday for further hearing.

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