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Why Onnoghen’s conviction didn’t come as a surprise – Uwazurike

Lagos-based lawyer and president emeritus of Igbo think tank group, Aka Ikenga, Chief Goddy Uwazurike has said the conviction of Justice Walter Onnoghen, ex-Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), by the Danladi Umar-led Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) over non-assets declaration, did not come as a surprise as it was already predetermined.

He said the conviction was a sham, insisting that it was in breach of the constitution and could not stand.

Chief Uwazurike, who stated this in a statement made available to reporters yesterday, encouraged the former CJN to pursue the case to a logical conclusion.

He said, “The conviction of Justice Walter Onnoghen did not come to many of us as a surprise. The only thing we waited for was the reason or what is called ratio in law.

“When a charge is read, the defendant can challenge the jurisdiction. The court stops all movements until it has resolved this issue. Again, the burden of proving allegations is on the executive (prosecutor).

“Again, the chairman only refers to the evidence led in court. When the chairman referred to the confession of the defendant, I wondered where it came from because no such evidence is there. Remember the CCB officer said the assets documents were yet to be investigated.

“A bank said the defendant borrowed money that is being repaid from investments of the loan. Who bears this liability?

“As a lawyer, I don’t think you can remove the CJN except in accordance with the Constitution.

“I hope Onnoghen will pursue this matter in the Court of Appeal, not just for his name but for the sake of the independence of the 3 arms of the Democratic governance. Whatever comes around, goes around.”

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