The prosecution team charging Chief Justice Walter Onnoghen for false belongings declaration allegations has demanded that the highest jurist should present up in court docket to have his expenses learn to him.
Trial opened on the Code of Conduct Tribunal for the trial of Mr Onnoghen shortly after 10:00 a.m. on Monday. The senior decide was absent, however 47 senior legal professionals, led by Wole Olanipekun, made appearances for him.
Mr Olanipekun stated Mr Onnoghen didn’t have to seem as a result of the tribunal lacks jurisdiction to listen to the matter. He additionally stated the decide was not correctly served of court docket summons previous to his scheduled arraignment at present.
Aliu Umar, who leads the prosecution team, nonetheless, argued that Mr Onnoghen can’t keep away from to seem for listening to.
He stated there isn’t a legislation that claims a defendant shall refuse to seem before a court docket just on the grounds of contesting jurisdiction.
“He must be right here,” Mr Aliu stated, however “he could refuse to be arraigned and say that he’s contesting the case.”
Mr Olanipekun argued that Mr Onnoghen’s private assistant was served the court docket summons for onward passage to the chief decide himself, which he stated ought to render the method a nullity.
This could be cured by directing that the service be made on to the chief justice himself, Mr Aliu stated, insisting that there are not any tenable grounds for Mr Onnoghen to not seem for trial.
Uncertainties over whether or not Mr Onnoghen would seem for trial had been palpable throughout the nation all through the weekend.
Several supporters of the chief justice and opposition components have insisted that he shouldn’t seem.
Five out of six governors within the South-South, the Niger-Delta area the place Mr Onnoghen hails from, additionally prevailed on the chief justice to shun the tribunal on Sunday night time.
Mr Onnoghen faces six counts of false belongings declaration expenses, following a petition that stated he failed to reveal a collection of financial institution accounts in local and overseas foreign money whereas sitting on the Supreme Court for a number of years, in alleged violation of the code of conduct legislation.