It was a rowdy session at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) sitting in Abuja on Friday, as Walter Onnoghen, the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), was ordered to defend the allegations levelled against him.

Onnoghen is standing trial over allegations of fraudulent declaration of assets.

Ruling on the matter on Friday, the CCT rejected the no-case submission made by Onnoghen, insisting that the fact that the defendant had confessed to omission in the submitted documents was enough to charge him.

Danladi Umar, the CCT Chairman, said the prosecution counsel had enough evidence to establish a case against Onnoghen, the defendant.

Umar made reference to the commission admitted by Onnoghen on his declaration of five domiciliary accounts he had been operating with Standard Chartered Bank since 2009.

According to Umar, the admission by Onnoghen was enough to ask him to enter his defence, if any.

However, as Umar gave the ruling and adjourned till Monday, April 1, 2019, lawyers in the defence team erupted in a shouting match to protest the timing. 

Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), lead counsel to Onnoghen, said April 1 was too close for his team to make adequate preparation. However, while Awomolo was yet to conclude his presentation, the CCT Chairman walked out of the sitting. 

Other members of the CCT had to leave in a hurry as well.

Expressing his disappointment, Awomolo said: “If this is justice, then, God bless Nigeria.”

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