The Code of Conduct Tribunal, Friday granted the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, bail on self-recognition and, adjourned to March 11, for hearing of all pending applications.
This development followed an oral bail application made by the defence counsel, Chris Uche, SAN, after Onnoghen pleaded not guilty to the six count-charge preferred against him by the complainant – the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The six count-charge were subsumed that aside allegation that he failed to disclose his assets as prescribed by law, FG, in the charge that was filed by the Code of Conduct Bureau, CCB, equally accused the CJN of operating foreign bank accounts.
It also alleged that contrary to relevant laws regulating the conduct of public office holders, the CJN, maintained a domiciliary foreign currencies account that comprised use of Dollars Account, Pound Sterling Account and Euro Account.
However, before the tribunal proceeded with the matter, Uche pleaded that the order or warrant of arrest slammed against his client be vacated.
In his words, “We are here for the arraignment but before the tribunal proceeds, it will be recalled that there are applications pending.
“It was the view by way of the majority decision of this tribunal that the defendant must appear.
“And here is the defendant. But may I plead that the order of the bench warrant be discharged before proceedings “.
In reaction, the tribunal chairman, Danladi Umar conveyed approval but said it would be on the condition that the CJN makes himself available whenever needed.
Also, after the vacation of the order of warrant of arrest and Onnoghen pleaded not guilty to the aforesaid charges, Uche, again rose to apply for an adjournment over which the prosecuting counsel, Musa Ibrahim did not object.
On this premise, the tribunal chairman acceded to the application and adjourned the case to March 11, for hearing of all pending applications.