The trial of Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, has commenced without him in attendance. Justice Onnoghen is facing six charges bordering on failure to declare his assets and operating a domiciliary account, among other charges.
The CJN is represented by a team of lawyers led by Wole Olanipekun (SAN). Over 70 lawyers including 47 Senior Advocates of Nigeria are representing the CJN. Wole Olanipekun during the session insists that the CJN does not need to appear in court when he has not been properly served. The Prosecution then conceded that they did not serve the CJN properly and asked the tribunal to order personal service on the CJN. The prosecution agrees that the law says that the CJN must be served personally.
The lawyers in his defence including Former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Kanu Agabi, Wole Olanipekun, Chief Chris Uche, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo are however present in court. Five out of the six governors that make up the South-South Governors Forum have earlier asked the CJN not to honour the summons from the Code of Conduct Bureau to appear before the tribunal.
The governors made the call after an emergency meeting in Abuja on Sunday.