Alleged false asset declaration trial: Onnoghen opens defence, presents witness
The embattled Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Walter Onnoghen, Monday opened his defence at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT.
His first Witness, Dw1, Lawal Olarewaju in evidence tendered a receipt of payment from the Code of Conduct Bureau, CCB, Asokoro office in Abuja for Onnoghen’s 2010 Asset Declaration Form which was reportedly purchased on November 3, 2010.
Olarewaju said he was Onnoghen’s driver from 1999 to date.
But the prosecution counsel, Aliyu Umar objected to the admissibility of the receipt by the tribunal, alleging that its authenticity was in doubt.
In his words, “My Lord, I’m objecting to the tendering of the said receipt. The Witness was not the maker. No proper custody of the receipt was established and Revenue Number, RV, was not found dated by the CCB cashier.
“Therefore, the authenticity of the receipt is in doubt”
In reaction, however, defence counsel, Adegboyega Awomolo dismissed the objection raised by his learned colleagues as unthinkable.
He asserted that the receipt was relevant, admissible and not vitiated by any law. He added, “admissibility is regulated only by law, not by any other form.
“The Witness has made enough evidence to the making of the receipt”.
It would be recalled that Onnoghen was suspended as CJN over allegations of non-declaration of his asset on his assumption of office as Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, besides, operation of foreign accounts which he was also accused of non-declaration as required by the law.