The trial of the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen , on charges of non – declaration and false declaration of charges , started on Monday, with the tribunal admitting first set of exhibits.
The exhibits tendered by the prosecution led by Mr . Aliyu Umar ( SAN) , were the petition written by a civil society group and which informed the six counts preferred against the suspended CJN and two assets declaration forms ( Forms CCB 1 ) submitted by the defendant in 2014 and 2015 .
Umar tendered the documents as exhibits after a brief introductory testimony of the prosecution ’ s first witness , Mr . James Apala , a Senior Investigation Officer with the Code of Conduct Bureau .
The petition dated January 7 , 2019 , was sent to the Code of Bureau by Anti -Corruption and Research – Based Data Initiative and was admitted by the three -man bench of the CCT as Exhibit 1 without any objection from the defence.
Although the defence led by Chief Adegboyega Awomolo ( SAN) , did not object to the assets declaration forms , he noted that the forms were “ in loose form and appeared to be tampered with ” , adding that he would address the issues at the final address stage .
Ruling , the tribunal chairman , Danladi Umar , admitted the forms as exhibits with a caveat that the defence would have the right to address the issue in their final address .
Earlier, Apala while being led in evidence by the prosecuting counsel , had said , “ On January 9 , 2019 , I was in my office at the Code of Conduct Bureau that morning when I received a call from my superior , Samuel Madojemu , who happens to be a member of the ( investigation ) team .
“ He directed that I investigate a petition .
“ Having done the required processes – routine investigation – case file was opened and investigation plan was drawn.
“ The petition was authored by Chief Dennis Aghanya of the Anti – Corruption and Research – Based Data Initiative , alleging breach of Code of Conduct for Public Officers , including non – declaration of assets and false declaration of assets , against the Hon . Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen , GCON , the Chief Justice of Nigeria .
“ Thereafter , the team wrote to the Federal Political Officers Unit ( of the bureau) , Asokoro, requesting the defendant ’ s asset declarations received from 2000 to 2009 .
“ The department responded. The two asset declaration forms were examined and filed in the case file. ”