By Adaku Onoja
The Code of Conduct Tribunal on Monday fixed Thursday for its final judgment in the charges of false and non-declaration of assets instituted against Justice Walter Onnoghen, who reportedly resigned as the Chief Justice of Nigeria on April 4.
The Danladi Umar-led three-man bench fixed the date for judgment after the prosecution led by Mr. Aliyu Umar (SAN), and the defence led by Mr. Okon Efut (SAN), adopted their final addresses.
During the proceedings, the defence, in their final arguments, maintained that the prosecution failed to prove the six counts beyond reasonable doubt as required by law and urged the tribunal to dismiss the case.
Efut maintained that the statement made by Onnoghen to the Code of Conduct Bureau was not confessional as alleged by the prosecution.
He added that the charges, were incompetent and unconstitutional as they were based on the provisions of the Code of Conduct Tribunal and Bureau Act which were in conflict with the relevant provisions of the Constitution.
But the prosecution said the defence team was only attempting to redefine what constituted “proof beyond a reasonable doubt”.
He urged the tribunal to hold that the prosecution indeed proved the case beyond reasonable doubt and “return a guilty verdict”.
Adjourning till Thursday for judgment, the tribunal chairman, said the verdict would be delivered along with two pending rulings on Onnoghen’s applications, one challenging the jurisdiction of the tribunal to hear the case and another one asking the CCT chairman to disqualify himself from further presiding over the case for being allegedly bias.