20.6 C

FG asks CCT to order CJN Onnoghen to step aside




THE federal government has asked the Code of Conduct Tribunal to issue an interim order for the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, to step aside, pending the determination of the case of false assets declaration against him.

Aliu Umar, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, who is the FG prosecutor in Onnoghen’s ongoing trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, made this known on Tuesday.

Onnoghen did not appear before the CCT on the first day of trial (January 14) and his defence team argued that he was not properly served. The matter was adjourned till Tuesday, January 22, so that the clerk of the CJN could be served the court summons appropriately.

But when the trial resumed on Tuesday, Onnoghen was again not in court. His defence team, led by Wole Olanipekun (SAN), told the court that the CJN’s absence was due to the cases that were instituted against the tribunal’s proceeding.

In his opening address, FG prosecutor, Aliu Umar, asked the tribunal to issue a temporary order directing the CJN to step aside pending the determination of the suit. Umar also informed the tribunal that the federal government had written to Onnoghen requesting him to step aside, but said he was not sure whether he received the letter or not.

In response, Olanipekun pointed out that the CCT does not have the jurisdiction to make such an order. Besides, “we have an application challenging the jurisdiction of the tribunal to hear this case, and that application has not been heard”.

The defence counsel urged the tribunal to adjourn the case indefinitely until the other court cases had been completed.

- Advertisement -

A federal high court had restrained the CCT from going ahead with the trial, but some say such an order can only be issued by the court of appeal because the CCT has parallel powers with the high courts. The Court of Appeal fixed January 24 for hearing on the matter.

Already, the bank accounts which the FG accused Onnoghen of not disclosing in his asset declaration form have been frozen. Onnoghen was reported to have explained that he forgot to include those bank accounts while filling out the asset declaration form.

There have been several arguments for and against Onnoghen’s ongoing corruption scandal. While many say the CJN is not above the law and should be made to face trial and punished accordingly if found guilty, others are of the opinion that the issue should first be referred to the National Judicial Council (NJC) before being taken to the courts.

The third school of thought believes that the whole corruption allegation against Onnoghen is politically motivated and is aimed at getting him out of the office ahead of the general elections.

Support the ICIR

We invite you to support us to continue the work we do.

Your support will strengthen journalism in Nigeria and help sustain our democracy.


If you or someone you know has a lead, tip or personal experience about this report, our WhatsApp line is open and confidential for a conversation



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Support the ICIR

We need your support to produce excellent journalism at all times.



Abducted Nasarawa commissioner regains freedom after five days

ABDUCTED Nasarawa State Commissioner for Information Culture and Tourism Lawal Yakubu Addah has regained...

FG asks Google to ban four loan apps for fraudulent practices

THE Federal Government has asked Google to remove four loan apps from playstore. The apps...

MRA condemns revocation of licenses of 52 broadcast stations

THE Media Rights Agenda (MRA) has condemned the revocation of the licenses of 52...

Terrorists release four more Abuja-Kaduna train abductees

TERRORISTS behind the Abuja-Kaduna train attack released four more victims on Friday. Kaduna-based publisher Tukur...

Nigerians facing mass deportation from UAE cry for help

NIGERIAN nationals in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are facing forced expulsion from the...

Most Read


Subscribe to our newsletter