The suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Walter Onnoghen, has denied confessing that he hid some of his bank accounts during the declaration of his assets.
Onnoghen is being tried at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, on a six-count charge, in which he is accused of breaching the Code of Conduct for public officers.
He is accused of allegedly making false declaration of assets and also failing to declare some.
However, Onnoghen’s counsel, Okon Nkanu Efut (SAN), yesterday told the tribunal that his client never confessed to hiding his bank accounts.
Efut argued that contrary to the prosecution’s claim that his client confessed to the offence, in his written statement, Onnoghen said he forgot to declare some of his assets, especially some bank accounts.
He urged the tribunal to dismiss the charge, acquit and discharge his client because not only was the charge incompetent but the prosecution failed to establish the Onnoghen’s guilt.
The defence counsel decried the competence of the charge and the procedure adopted by the prosecution, which he contended were unlawful.
According to Efut: “It is true in ordinary parlance that once a person says he did something, that is admittance. But, confession in law is different from confession in general parlance.
“When the defendant said he forgot, he did not mean he confessed. We are submitting that there has been no confession at all. There is no admission of guilt. Confession, in law, means admission of guilt.”
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