The Code of Conduct Tribunal has admitted as exhibits the bank account documents of the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, as his trial on charges of false and non-declaration of assets opened on Monday.
The three-man bench admitted the documents after dismissing the objection by the defence led by Chief Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN).
The documents were said to be Onnoghen’s account opening package obtained from the Standard Chartered Bank on January 11, 2019 and March 12, 2019.
They included a copy of Onnoghen’s passport, Supreme Court identity card, a Standard Chartered Bank’s document dated January 25, 2009 stating “original document” and other documents.
Awomolo did not object to earlier documents tendered by the prosecution except that he sought to address the tribunal at the final stage of the trial on the state of the assets declaration forms which he said appeared to be tampered with.
But he put up an outright objection when the prosecuting counsel, Mr. Aliyu Umar (SAN), sought to tender some bank documents of the suspended CJN through the first prosecution witness, an investigation officer of the Code of Conduct Bureau, Mr. James Opala.
He objected to the tendering on Monday on the grounds that the CCB officer through whom the documents were sought to be tendered was not the maker of documents.
He said the right person to tender the documents was an officer of the bank.
He added that the cover letter from the bank accompanying the documents, although addressed to the Chairman of the CC, did not show that it was received.
But in response, the prosecuting counsel insisted that the witness in the box was competent to tender the documents since they what his office received in the course of investigation activities.