Court Of Appeal Rules On Onnoghen’s Suit Challenging Removal

The Court of Appeal, Abuja, Friday dismissed four suits filed by the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Onnoghen, as regards his trial before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).

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In its judgment, the court held that Onnoghen’s suspension and appointment of an acting Chief Justice of Nigeria had already been overtaken by events.

In one of the appeals, Onnoghen is challenging the veracity of the ex-parte order directing him to vacate office and for President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint Tanko Muhammad as acting CJN.

But led by Justice Stephen Adah, the appellate court ruled that the order was not only made when the defendant had yet to be arraigned before the CCT, it was obtained in a manner “shrouded in secrecy and clandestine maneuver.”

In another ruling, the court, in a unanimous decision, dismissed the appeal filed by Onnoghen, challenging the jurisdiction of the Tribunal to hear the charges brought against him.

It held that the issue of jurisdiction was not tenable because of Section 396(2), 221 and 306, which does not allow for a stay of proceedings in a criminal trial.

The Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), according to the court, has allowed for the continuation of cases while certain appeals are made.

It also dismissed Onnoghen’s appeal challenging the refusal of the CCT to be bound by the orders of the Federal High Court and Industrial Court to halt his trial.

Meanwhile, Concise News understands that no date has been fixed for the hearing of Onnoghen’s appeal challenging his conviction by the CCT.