The current chief justice of Nigeria could face a trial, accused of failing to declare his assets before taking office in 2017.

Justice Walter Onnoghen is expected to appear before judges this morning at the Code of Conduct Tribunal – a court set up to try senior civil servants and government officials accused of misconduct.

The courtroom, in the capital Abuja, is already filling up:

The packed courtroom in Abuja

The current chief justice of Nigeria could face a trial, accused of failing to declare his assets before taking office in 2017.

Justice Walter Onnoghen is expected to appear before judges this morning at the Code of Conduct Tribunal – a court set up to try senior civil servants and government officials accused of misconduct.

The courtroom, in the capital Abuja, is already filling up:

is unprecedented – if the case goes ahead he will be the first serving chief justice of Nigeria to be put on trial.
Justice Walter Onnoghen will be arraigned at the tribunal on six count charges – all relating to non-declaration of his assets.

Justice Onnoghen is quoted as saying that the problem arose from an administrative error.

Senior civil servants and government officials are required by law to declare their assets before taking office and after they leave as a way of preventing corruption.

The judiciary plays a key role in settling election disputes in Nigeria and the main opposition party is alleging that the trial of the top judge just a month before the country’s general election is a plot to destabilise the judiciary ahead of the polls.

Meanwhile, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari is under increasing pressure to show results from his promise to tackle corruption. He has repeatedly accused the judiciary of frustrating his fight against corruption by unnecessarily delaying cases.

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