CCT TRIAL: CJN Onnoghen to know fate Jan 22

Don’t make justice a commercial commodity to ‘rapacious elite’, CJN urges judges

The Code of Conduct Tribunal has adjourned till January 22, 2019 to continue proceedings in the trial of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Walter Onnoghen.

Onnoghen is being tried for not declaring his assets as a public officer, after a petition was sent in to that effect against him.

In the short trial which lasted less than an hour, the Tribunal after hearing arguments from both the prosecution and defence counsels adjourned till January 22 for further proceedings.

The three-man panel of Justices of the code of conduct tribunal headed by Justice Danladi Umar ruled that the six-count charge the Federal Government filed against the CJN, be adjourned till next week Tuesday on grounds that he was not personally served.

At the beginning of the trial which started at 10 a.m with charge marked CCT/ABJ/01/19, one of the prosecutors enlisted by the federal government, Alhaji Aliyu Umar explained that the CJN was served through one of his personal assistants, Sunday O. Osai.

Read also: Onnoghen absent at CCT trial, challenges court’s jurisdiction; 89 lawyers rise in defense

The former Commissioner of Justice in Kano State who led five other federal government lawyers explains, “When we went to his house, he directed his personal assistant to collect the charge on his behalf. His personal assistant endorsed it, so he has been served”.

It was gathered that the CJN had on the 14th of January filed a suit challenging the jurisdiction of the tribunal to try him.

A former president of West Africa Bar Association, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN) who led 46 other Senior Advocates of Nigeria and 43 other lawyers said, “My lord we are not just challenging jurisdiction, we are even challenging the jurisdiction of this tribunal to even sniff that charge”, Olanipekun submitted.

Olanipekun further argued that the CJN should have been personally served while citing sections 123 and 124 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, ACJA, 2015.

After hearing both parties, Justice Umar subsequently adjourned the matter till next week Tuesday.

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