Onnoghen: Confusion at Tribunal as Prosecution Team Clashes

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CJN Walter Onnoghen

There was a mild confusion at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) on Monday when the lead prosecutor in the suit against suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Onnoghen clashed with one of the lawyers on the prosecution team.

This happened after the lead prosecutor, Aliyu Umar (SAN) announced appearances and informed the tribunal that the matter was for adoption of final written addresses in the suit.

A member of the prosecution team, Professor Zainab Duke, whose name was called immediately after Umar’s name, then made an attempt to address the tribunal.

However, Umar asked her to sit down.

“I am your senior and I am the one leading the prosecution, you cannot speak,” Umar added.

She continued to make several attempts to speak which was suppressed by Umar leading to the tribunal to interfere.

Umar subsequently applied to the Tribunal to strike out Duke’s name from the list of counsels on the prosecution team.

The tribunal chairman, Danladi Umar, in granting the application, ordered that Professor Duke should vacate the seats occupied by the prosecution team and take her seat at the back to observe the proceedings or leave the tribunal if she wishes.

Immediately after the tribunal ruling, she left. When she was asked outside the tribunal what she had wanted to tell the tribunal, Professor Duke said she just wanted to observe that the present case of Justice Onnoghen is similar to that of King Charles of England 300 years ago.

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