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The suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen opened his defence on Monday by calling his driver, Lawal Busari, as his first defence witness.
Onnoghen is being tried on a six count charge in which he is accused of breaching the code of conduct for public officers for allegedly failing to declare his assets.
Led in evidence by lead defence lawyer, Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), Busari gave details of how he drove his boss, the defendant, to the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) office on July 28, 2010, to obtain the assets declaration form and how he paid N200 for the defendants’ assets declaration on November 3, 2010.
When Awomolo moved to tender the receipt issued Busari for the N200, lead prosecution lawyer, Aliyu Umar (SAN), objected to it being admitted by the tribunal.
Umar doubted the authenticity of the receipt on the grounds that the “revenue number did not appear on it.” He added that since the witnesses was not the maker of the document, he was not the proper person to tender it.
The defence said, by the testimony of the witness, it sought to puncture the prosecution’s charge that the defendant did not declare his assets from 2005 and 2016.
Busari, who said he is 60 years old, described himself as the Chief Driver/Mechanic at the Supreme Court.
He said, while with Onnoghen at the CCB office on July 28, 2010, the suspended CJN also asked him to obtain his own assets declaration form, which he did.