CCT postpones Onnoghen’s judgement till noon

Defence counsel, Wole Olanipekun, SAN, (left); Adegboyega Awomolo, SAN, and Kanu Agabi, SAN,  at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) Abuja …yesterday. PHOTO: LUCY LADIDI ELUKPO


The Code of Conduct Tribunal has postponed the delivering of its final judgment in the charges against suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria Walter Onnoghen from 9am to 12 noon.

The CCT had on Thursday announced that it will rule on the case at about 9 am on Thursday.

Two of the suspended CJN’s lawyers and his aides were seated in the courtroom when a court official announced the postponement at about 9 am.

The three-member panel, led by Danladi Umar, fixed Thursday for judgment after the prosecution led by Aliyu Umar, and the defence, led by Okon Efut, adopted their final addresses.

The tribunal chairman said the verdict would be delivered along with two pending rulings on Onnoghen’s applications.

One such application is the challenge of the jurisdiction of the tribunal to hear the case.

The other application is asking the CCT chairman to disqualify himself from further presiding over the case for being allegedly bias.

Onnoghen is arraigned at the CCT following a charge against him brought by the Code of Conduct Bureau in January.

The CCB accused Onnoghen of failing to declare his assets from June 2005, after he became a Justice of the Supreme Court till December 2016, two months after the Federal Government raided the homes of several judges, including those of the Supreme Court in October 2018.

According to the six-count charge brought against him, Onnoghen is also accused of false declaration of his assets, following his alleged failure to include some domiciliary accounts managed by the Standard Chartered Bank.

President Muhammadu Buhari said in January that apart from the “grievous” allegations against Onnoghen, “the security agencies have since then traced other suspicious transactions running into millions of dollars to the CJN’s personal accounts, all undeclared or improperly declared as required by law.”

“In line with this administration’s avowed respect for the Rule of Law, I have wholeheartedly obeyed the Order of the Code of Conduct Tribunal dated 23rd January 2019,” Buhari said.

He said the suspended CJN’s excuse that the non-declaration was due to mistake and forgetfulness was not known to law.

Onnoghen on April 4 in a letter notified Buhari of his decision to vacate office as the Chief Justice of Nigeria.

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