Nigerians on Twitter have expressed their disappointment at the federal government (the prosecuting counsel) after it closed its case against Walter Onnoghen, suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), for the defence to make their own case.
It was gathered that on Thursday at the Code of Conduct, CCT, government’s counsel, Aliyu Umar, revealed that they have closed their case after calling just three witnesses to the stand out of the six initially listed.
Umar noted that the three other witnesses could still be called to the stand if the defence counsel wants to cross-examine them.
“I have called three witnesses. If the defence needs them, I can call the other three,” the lawyer said.
Responding, Adeboyega Awomolo, counsel to Onnoghen, rejected the offer.
“I don’t want them, I don’t want them,” he said.
Deeming that the prosecuting counsel has failed to prove their numerous allegations of false and non-declaration of assets against Onnoghen, the defence counsel then filed a no-case plea against the Federal Government. This means that the Defence is arguing that the whole trial was unnecessary and shouldn’t have happened as the prosecuting counsel have not been able to prove their allagations. Thus, the defence will contend that the prosecution has failed to make a case against the defendant and there will not be any need for the suspended CJN to enter his defence.
It would be recalled that Onnoghen was accused of false and non-declaration of assets to the Code of Conduct Bureau.
However, in the course of the trial, a prosecution witness, Mr. Awal Yakassai, on Thursday, admitted before the Code of Conduct Tribunal, that the two assets declaration forms submitted in 2016 by the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, have not been verified by the Code of Conduct Bureau.
Another prosecution witness, an official of Standard Chartered Bank, Ifeoma Okeagbue confirmed that Onnoghen had five accounts, and that the ones in euro, dollar, and pound sterling were domiciliary accounts and not ‘foreign accounts.’ She also confirmed that a $500,000 loan granted the suspended CJN was guaranteed by the suspended CJN’s investments in Federal Government’s bonds and shares, among others.
Reacting to this development, a Twitter user gave a piece of advice to both young and old lawyers who just jump into conclusion without getting their fact.
Here are other reactions captured on Twitter;