The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has refused the request by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, to make an order stopping his trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT on Tuesday.
We had reported that the CCT had on January 14 fixed January 22 for hearing in the six counts of false assets declaration filed by the Code of Conduct Bureau against Justice Onnoghen.
However, two non-governmental organisations, namely the Centre for Justice and Peace Initiative; CJPI, and International Association of Students, IAS, had approached the Federal High Court in Abuja and requested an order stop the charges against the CJN.
Justice Evelyn Maha of the Federal High Court, Abuja, last week issued two separate orders directing that status quo should be maintained in Justice Onnoghen’s case before the CCT.
However, in a push to stop the CJN trial at CCT, his lawyers, led by Chief Adegnoyega Awomolo, SAN, approached the Appellate court on Monday seeking to obtain another restraining order against the Danladi Umar-led CCT.
Onnoghen’s lawyer, Awomolo told a three-man Court of Appeal panel led by Justice Abdu Aboki, that the restraining order was necessary to preserve the subject matter of the case at the Code of Conduct Tribunal.
In countering this, the Federal Government’s lawyer, Emmanuel Omonuwa, told the panel that he was only served with the court process by Justice Onnoghen’s legal team on Monday morning.He said he needed at least three days to reply.
The three Justices of the Court of Appeal declined granting Onnoghen’s request to stop the CCT proceedings against him.
According to the Appeal Court panel, “We are of the view that no form of order shall be made at his stage pending hearing of motion on notice.” The suit was adjourned till January 24.