Again, CJN Onnoghen Absent As CCT Begins Hearing
CJN Walter Onnoghen

The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Samuel Onnoghen is, again, absent as sitting resumed at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) in the case of non-declaration of assets against him on Tuesday.

The tribunal official announced that the defendant was not in court when the case was called.

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Prosecution counsel, Aliyu Umar (SAN) thereafter, said the business of the day was for the arraignment and the hearing of the two applications from the prosecution and the defendant.

He said the prosecution’s application was asking for an order directing that the defendant step down as the CJN and chairman of NJC while the defendant’s application was challenging the jurisdiction of the tribunal.

“It is obvious that arraignment cannot take place because the defendant is not in court. Last time, the tribunal could not proceed because there was no proper service on the defendant,” he said.

Responding, Wole Olanipekun (SAN), who led over 30 other senior advocates as the CJN’s counsel, said the record of the tribunal shows that the matter was adjourned to today for hearing of the motions.

He said there have been a lot of intervening factors since the last sittings.

He said there have been some orders from the Federal High Court, Abuja, adding that the life span has been further extended to January 28.

Onnoghen’s arraignment was sequel to a petition filed by a civil society group, Anti-Corruption and Research Based Data Initiative (ARDI), accusing the CJN of false asset declaration and other sundry allegations.

He is also being accused of maintaining Domiciliary Accounts which comprised Dollar Account, Pound Sterling Account and Euro Account which were alleged to be contrary to relevant laws, especially for public office holders.