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Appeal Court halts CCT from hearing Onnoghen’s case

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THE Court of Appeal on Thursday halted further hearing against the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Onnoghen.

Onnoghen was being prosecuted at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) for false assets declaration.

Speaking at the proceeding in the Appeal Court, Abuja the defence counsel, Wole Olanipekun informed the court that the CCT refused to consider the rulings from other courts.

He frowned at the position of the Tribunal and its refusal to consider his arguments that the CCT lacks jurisdiction over the matter.

Olanipekun maintained that his positions were ignored by the Tribunal adding that if the application is not granted, it would affect the judiciary as a whole and also pose a threat to nation’s constitution in general.

In his reaction, the counsel to the Federal Government, Oye Koleosho argued before the Court that the decision whether to stay proceeding lies at the discretion of the Tribunal.

While challenging its jurisdiction, Kolesoho noted that the CCT had adjourned the hearing of the application which was at the instance of the defence counsel, Olanipekun.

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Presiding over the case, Justice Abdul Aboki, after listening to arguments from both counsels ordered the CCT to stay proceeding pending the determination of the appeal court.

He adjourned the hearing to 30th January, 2019 to determine if the CCT has jurisdiction to hear the matter against Onnoghen or not.

The CJN has refused to honour the Tribunal at the two different sittings where he was meant to answer the charges filed against him on basis that the Tribunal lack jurisdiction over the case.

Counsel to the federal government, Aliyu Umar (SAN) on Tuesday had pleaded with the Tribunal asking the CJN to vacate his seat pending final ruling on the matter.

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Olugbenga is an Investigative Reporter with The ICIR. Do you have a scoop? Shoot him an email at oadanikin@icirnigeria.org. Twitter Handle: @OluAdanikin

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