The suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Onnoghen was, today, absent at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) for his trial over allegations of non-declaration of assets.
His lawyer, Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), while explaining the reason for the absence, told the tribunal that he was informed, Monday night, that his client was suffering from tooth-ache.
He tendered a medical report to support the claim.
Prosecution counsel, Aliyu Umar (SAN) confirmed that he got a copy of the medical report concerning the defendant, signed by Dr. Francis Uche, the Medical Director of Ideal Medical Services.ADVERTISEMENT
He said any observation he would have made was effectively wiped out by what the doctor said about the blood pressure of the defendant which was said to have risen to 410/121.
“As an old man, I know how dangerous that could be,” Umar said.
He added that the medical report suggested that Onnoghen was given 72 hours bed rest, adding that the presence of the defendant is as important as the prosecution to continue with the trial, although prosecution witnesses were available to go ahead.
“Under the circumstance, I will concede that there is a justification for the defendant to be absent.
“Taking into consideration the order of the court yesterday on day-to-day proceedings and the health condition of the defendant, I urge the court to adjourn the matter till Monday when we can have 5 days straight,” the prosecutor said.
The tribunal chairman, Danladi Umar thereafter, held that, in view of the medical report explaining the absence of the defendant in court and in consideration of the level of his blood pressure and with the prosecution having agreed for an adjournment till Monday, the tribunal concede to the adjournment of the matter to Monday, March 18 for hearing.