TownflexNigeria's Chief Justice Absent From His Corruption Trial » Townflex
Celebrity News | Entertainment News | Celebrity Gossip | Music | publishes the latest in Celebrity Gossip, Music, Entertainment News, Celebrity News, Hollywood Rumors in the Entertainment industry and beyond

Nigeria’s Chief Justice Absent From His Corruption Trial

Nigeria’s chief justice, Walter Onnoghen, was absent Monday from the first day of his fiercely-disputed trial overshadowed by the country’s upcoming elections.

Mr Onnoghen had been scheduled to attend the Code of Conduct Tribunal, a special court set up to enforce ethical conduct among holders of public office.

Last week he was accused of breaching a transparency law that requires public officials to declare their assets. It also bars them from having bank accounts in foreign currencies.

Lead defence attorney Wole Olanipekun, heading dozens of lawyers who had gathered in a protest against the case, said Mr Onnoghen was absent as he had not been properly served with the summons. The court ordered an eight-day adjournment.

The allegations against Mr Onnoghen have sparked criticism from opposition figures and civil society.

They claim President Muhammadu Buhari’s government is plotting to remove Mr Onnoghen ahead of a likely close-fought presidential election on February 16.

Nigeria chief justice Walter Onnoghen
Corruption In Nigeria

If the result is disputed, the Supreme Court, chaired by the chief justice, has final authority over determining the outcome.

Mr Buhari’s main challenger, former vice-president Atiku Abubakar of the main opposition People’s Democratic Party, said he viewed the unexpected charges against Mr Onnoghen with “apprehension and suspicion”.

President Buhari’s administration, he charged in a press release, was “pressuring an independent and self-governing arm of government”.

See Also: Bishop Stephen Akwesi Appiah Warns Rev Owusu Bempah

“Any attempt to force Justice Walter Onnoghen to vacate his office, four weeks to an election for which the unpopular Buhari administration has shown every intention to manipulate, is a move pregnant with negative meaning,” he added.

Mr Olanipekun led a huge defence team of more than 90 lawyers — a presence, he said, that aimed to “protest” at flawed charges and the court’s competence to try Mr Onnoghen.

He said that the summons to appear in court had been received by Mr Onnoghen’s personal assistant, but under Nigerian criminal law, the defendant must be served personally with the document.

The chairman of the tribunal, Danladi Umar, adjourned to January 22 and ordered the summons to be served properly.

Subscribe to our newsletter
Sign up here to get the latest news, updates and special offers delivered directly to your inbox.
You can unsubscribe at any time

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept