Onnoghen: CCT Resumes Trial
The trial of the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Onnoghen, has resumed at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), but issues around jurisdiction and other applications are slowing the process down.
Justice Onnoghen was at the Tribunal on Monday, march 11, with his parties in the suit.
When proceedings started, defence counsel, Adeboyega Awomolo, put some claims forward.
He told the Tribunal that there were five applications against the suspended CJN and explained that the first was filed on January 14, 2019, and another on February 4, 2019.
After making that presentation, he requested that the Tribunal should strike out the charges and adjourn to enable the National Judicial Council (NJC) to deliberate on the issues before Onnoghen could be be tried.
Other applications still pending are one filed on January 31, 2019 which requested that, in order to ensure fair hearing that the chairman should recuse himself or disqualify himself from the trial, and another, the 4th filed on February 13, asking the tribunal to stay further proceedings and wait for the directive of the appeal court.
Onnoghen's counsel further asked the Tribunal to consider the 'fact that the petition that founded these charges are before NJC' and that the proceedings had begun before the NJC sitting.
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The last two of the applications have been overtaken by events and only two of them are relevant - the application questioning the jurisdiction of the Tribunal.
After he addressed the court, the prosecutor, Mr Aliyu Umar, said a written address was filed on January 16, 2019, focusing on the application challenging the Tribunal's jurisdiction.
"We have filed a counter-affidavit opposing the chairman and a second member of the Tribunal to recuse themselves from the trial," Mr Umar told the Tribunal.
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