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Court of Appeal reserves rulings on Onnoghen’s appeals over alleged assets fraud

The Court of Appeal in Abuja, on Wednesday, reserved its rulings in four appeals instituted by suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen against his trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).

Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen
Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen

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Justice Steven Adah led two other justices of the court to reserve their rulings after the appeals were argued by parties.

“The date to deliver our rulings on the four appeals would be communicated to parties and their counsel’’, Adah said.

Onnoghen had filed appeal challenging the jurisdiction of the tribunal to try him.

He had also approached the appellate court to challenge his suspension caused by an ex parte order given by the tribunal.

Onnoghen had also appealed CCT’s refusal to be bound by the orders made by the Federal High Court and the National Industrial Court directing the tribunal to stop his trial.

The appellant had further filed an appeal against the arrest warrant issued against him by the CCT on Feb.13.

Chief Chris Uche (SAN), Counsel to the suspended CJN, argued that the tribunal had erred in law in all of its decisions on the matter so far.

Uche averred that the tribunal specifically over-reached itself when it granted an ex parte order which President Muhammadu Buhari relied on to suspend the appellant from office.

He therefore urged the panel to decide all the four appeals in his client’s favour, adding that that would be the only step to serve justice.

Malam Aliyu Umar (SAN), Counsel to the Federal Government, however, prayed the court to dismiss all the appeals, adding that the tribunal had only displayed its constitutional powers in the matter.

Onnoghen, on Feb.15, pleaded not guilty to the six-count charge bordering on non-assets declaration brought against him at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).

The suspended CJN appeared at the tribunal to take his plea following a bench warrant issued against him on Feb.13.

Meanwhile, Mr Danladi Umar, Chairman of the CCT, had fixed March 11, for the commencement of the trial.

The government alleged that the suspended CJN had failed to declare his assets immediately after taking office as CJN.

According to the prosecution, the action went contrary to Section 15 (1) of Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act.(NAN)


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