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Onnoghen Opens Defence, Calls Driver As 1st Witness


The suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria [CJN], Justice Walter Onnoghen has, on Monday, opened his defence at his ongoing trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal [CCT].

Justice Onnoghen opened his defence by calling his driver, Mr. Lawal Busari, as his first witness.

Mr. Busari was led in defence by the lead defence lawyer, Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN).

The defence said, by the testimony of Busari it sought to deflate the prosecution’s charge that the defendant did not declare his assets from 2005 and 2016.

Busari said he is 60 years old and added that he is the Chief Driver/Mechanic at the Supreme Court.

Under cross-examination, he explained how he drove his boss to the office of Code of Conduct Bureau [CCB] on July 28, 2010.

According to him, he obtained the assets declaration form and paid N200 for the assets declaration form on November 3, 2010.

He stated further that while with the suspended CJN at the CCB, he also asked him to obtain his own assets declaration form, which he did.

A mild drama, however, ensued when the defence lawyer moved to tender the receipt issued Busari for the N200.

The prosecution lawyer, Aliyu Umar (SAN), objected to the receipt being admitted by the tribunal on the grounds that the “revenue number did not appear on it.”

Umar also objected that since the witness was not the maker of the document, he was not the proper person to tender it.

Onnoghen is being tried on a six count charge of failure to declare his assets which is a breach of the code of conduct for public officers.

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