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Onnoghen’s Illness Stalls Trial



The trial of the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen could not go ahead on  Tuesday.

Onnoghen, who is standing trial at the Code of Conduct Triibnal (CCT), Abuja, over alleged non declaation of assets,  was said to have taken ill suddenly after Monday’s proceedings and could not make it to th court on Tuesday.

Chairman of the tribunal, Danladi Umar, had on Monday ordered that trial of the former CJN will henceforth be day to day.

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 Tuesday, Onnoghen was absence in court for the trial.

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 210/121.

Awomolo 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.

Responding,  counsel to the Federal government, Aliyu Umar (SAN), admitted he was copied with the letter and informed the tribunal that the issue of health is paramount in any human endeavour.

He however applied that the trial be adjourned till March 18 to enable Onnoghen recover sufficiently 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 a short ruling, the tribunal chairman,  Umar agreed with the position of the prosecution and the medical report and adjourned the trial till March 18.


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