The suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, yesterday, closed his case on his ongoing trial bordering on allegations of false and non-declarations of his assets.
The development surprised many at the court, as the defendant whose lawyer on Monday would invite two witnesses to testify during yesterday’s proceedings.
We were unable to confirm if the two witnesses invited by the defence team were present in court before the lead counsel to Onnoghen called for the closure of the case.
Chris Uche, while addressing the proceedings, didn't mention Nwafor or any other proposed defence witness before rounding off his address.
He said, “My lords, today is for continuation of trial. But my lords, after a deep review of the evidence led by the prosecution and the defence, the defence has come to conclusion and we have closed our case.
"Pursuant to paragraph 14 of the Practice Direction of this honourable tribunal, we apply to file our final written addresses,” Uche noted.
He, however, asked for 14 days to file the final written address. Reacting to the closure of the case, the prosecuting counsel, Aliyu Umar, said that Uche had indicated interest in closing the case shortly before the proceedings.
He implored the tribunal to give the defence more time for filing the final address by the parties.
The prosecuting team and the defence team are expected to exchange their final addresses and return to the tribunal on a date to adopt court papers before the judgement day is fixed after the adoption of final addresses.
The federal government, last week, directed the prosecution of Onnoghen to be closed in spite of the three witnesses proposed to testify against the embattled Chief Justice of Nigeria.
No reason was given by the government resting the case after the humiliation meted to Onnoghen's office.