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Tribunal adjourns Onnoghen’s trial to February 13

The Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) has adjourned to February 13, the trial of suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Walter Onnoghen.

The adjournment was announced after the tribunal came back from its 30 minutes stand down following a heated argument between the tribunal chairman, Danladi Umar and Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), counsel to Onnoghen.

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Umar had accused Awomolo of deploying delay tactics in asking for an adjournment. Awomolo responded that he took exception to the accusation.

Awomolo however, apologized to the tribunal for his outburst.

“What happened few minutes ago is an unfortunate one. I am sorry if the chairman felt I did not treat the bench well. There are times when tempers will rise, but I ask for forgiveness,” he said.

The member 1 of the tribunal, William Atedze also tendered apology on behalf of the tribunal.

He said: “We are in a learning process. You know the pressure with what is happening in the country now. We plead that you continue to excercise patience. On behalf of the chairman and both of us, we equally want to apologise for what happened. We assure you it will not repeat itself again.”

The tribunal chairman thereafter, said he had conceded to adjourn the matter at the instance of the prosecution and defence.

He however, added that “The presence of the defendant is needed here. Before he can make any application, he must first take his plea. There are many decisions of the Supreme Court to this effect.

“I appeal to the defence team to ensure the defendant is present at the next meeting.”

The prosecution counsel, Aliyu Umar (SAN) had earlier noted that if the defendant does not appear at the next sitting, he would be forced to asked for the appropriate orders to compel his presence.

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