Assets: Onnoghen knows Fate Today.

 Assets: Onnoghen knows Fate Today.

The Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) has fixed today for judgment in the charge of false and non-declaration of assets filed against the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Onnoghen.

The chairman of the three-man panel of CCT, Danladi Umar, fixed the date on Monday following the adoption of final written addresses by parties in the case.

Before the tribunal gives its judgment today, it will give a ruling on the two motions filed by Onnoghen at the beginning of the trial.

The first motion is challenging the jurisdiction of the tribunal to hear the case based on the decision of the Court of Appeal in in the suit between Justice Hyeladzira Nganjiwa and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which the CCT had relied on in dismissing the charge against another justice of the Supreme Court, Sylvester Ngwuta on May 15, 2018.

The second motion asked the tribunal chairman to disqualify himself from the trial on the allegation of likely bias.

Onnoghen was suspended by President Muhammadu Buhari on January 25, 2019, following an order of the CCT that directed him to step down as the CJN pending the conclusion of his trial.

He reportedly resigned on April 4, about 24 hours after the National Judicial Council (NJC), which investigated allegations of misconduct levelled against him, submitted its recommendations to the President. The recommendations of the NJC have not been made public.

The federal government in a six-count charge filed at the CCT on January 11 accused Onnoghen 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 (CCB/T) Act and punishable under Section 23(2) a, b, and c of the same Act.

In the charge, Onnoghen allegedly failed to declare a domiciliary (US Dollar) account No. 870001062650, a domiciliary (Pound Sterling) account No. 285001062679 and a domiciliary (Euro) account No. 93001062686 maintained with Standard Chartered Bank (Nig.) Ltd which is operated since 2011 contrary to Section 15(2) of the CCB/T Act.

Ayomide Oyewole

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