Suspended CJN, Onnoghen ill, hospitalized
Posted: 13/Mar/2019

The trial of the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen on failure to declare assets brought against him by the federal government was yesterday stalled at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, in Jabi, Abuja, due to sudden sickness he developed.

Onnoghen is standing trial on a six count charge bordering on failure to declare some of his assets as required by law for public office holders.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges and has been admitted to bail on self recognizance.

However at the resumed hearing yesterday, Onnoghen was absence in court for the trial as required by law.

His lead counsel, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo SAN, explained to the tribunal that Onnoghen’s absence was occasioned by a tooth-ache and high blood pressure which was said to be around 410/121.

The senior counsel tendered a medical report from Ideal Medical Services, Abuja where the defendant was said to have been treated.

The medical report signed by one Dr Francis Uche, the Medical Director of the hospital recommended among others that Onnoghen must observe 72 hours bed rest for his high blood pressure to be properly monitored.

Reacting to the development, counsel to the Federal government, Alhaji Aliyu Umar SAN admitted being copied with the letter and informed the tribunal that the issue of health is paramount in any human endeavors.

He however applied that the trial be adjourned till March 18 to enable Onnoghen have sufficient rest as recommended by his doctor.

The prosecution counsel said although his witnesses were in court and that he was ready to proceed with the trial, he however said that he had to concede to an adjournment because of the importance of the health of the defendant.

In his short ruling, the tribunal chairman, Danladi Yakubu Umar agreed with the position of the prosecution and the medical report and shifted the trial till next Monday.

The Tribunal had on Monday deferred rulings in the two motions of Onnoghen, challenging the jurisdiction of the tribunal to hear the criminal charges brought against him by the Federal government.

Also deferred is ruling in another motion in which Onnoghen prayed for the disqualification of the tribunal Chairman, Danladi Umar, from participating in the trial on account of demonstrated bias.

Delivering ruling in the two motions, argued by Chief Adegboyega Awomolo SAN on behalf of Onnoghen, the CCT chairman announced that rulings has been reserved and shall be delivered along with the substantive suit.