No-Case Submission: Onnoghen Files Notice Of Appeal Against CCT Ruling

 

The suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, is planning to appeal the ruling of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) on his ‘no-case submission’.

He disclosed this in a notice of appeal on Friday shortly after the Tribunal held that Justice Onnoghen has a case to answer in his trial over alleged non-declaration of assets.

The CCT Chairman, Danladi Umar, had insisted that the judge must enter his defence on Monday next week, despite pleas to adjourn the case.

READ ALSOCCT Dismisses No-Case Submission By Suspended CJN

Dissatisfied with the ruling, Justice Onnoghen resolved to challenge the decision of the Tribunal at the Court of Appeal in Abuja.

He listed the “Federal Republic of Nigeria” as the sole defendant in the proposed appeal.

The judge stated that the CCT erred in law when it dismissed his no-case submission by its alleged failure to appreciate his submission that the processes that led to the criminal proceeding against him by the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) violated the provision of the law

He added that the CCB, as a creation of the Constitution, was bound by all law made for the due process of the exercise of its powers under the law.

According to Justice Onnoghen, the members of the Tribunal erred in law when they overruled his no-case submission “when there is uncontroverted evidence” before it that there was no lawful investigation into the allegations against him.

He also claimed that the Tribunal erred in law when it dismissed his submission and refused to consider that the elements of the offence he was alleged to have committed were not proved by any legally acceptable evidence.

The suspended CJN insisted that the totality of the evidence was “hearsay”.

Read the full Notice of Appeal by Justice Onnoghen below:

Court Reserves Judgement In Two Appeals Filed By Justice Onnoghen

CCT Adjourns Onnoghen’s Trial Indefinitely
Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen (file)

 

The Appeal Court has reserved judgment in two appeals filed against the Federal Government by the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen.

The court made the decision after all parties had adopted their briefs of arguments.

Read Also: CCT Grants Onnoghen Bail, Adjourns Trial Till March 11

It also adjourned judgment in a third appeal challenging the exparte order given by the CCT on the strength of which Justice Onnoghen was suspended to a date to be announced to the parties.

Justice Onnoghen had in the appeals, challenged his trial at the CCT, as well as his suspension.

Justice Onnoghen’s Appearance Before CCT In Pictures

 

The suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen on Friday appeared before the Code of Conduct Tribunal for his trial.

It is the first time the embattled CJN is appearing before the CCT since the commencement of the trial weeks ago.

He is being tried over allegations of non-declaration of assets, all of which he pleaded not guilty to.

Read full details of Friday’s proceedings here.

See Photos Below

CCT Grants Onnoghen Bail, Adjourns Trial Till March 11

Suspended CJN, Walter Onnoghen, arrives at the CCT for his trial on non-declaration of assets on February 15, 2019.
Photo: Channels TV/ Soqiq Adelaqun

 

The Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) has adjourned the case of non-declaration of assets involving the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, till March 11, 2019.

Prior to the adjournment of the case, Onnoghen was also granted bail on self-recognition.

At the resumed hearing of the case on Friday, his counsel, Mr Chris Uche said although they were ready for arraignment, the defence had pending applications.

According to him, a bench warrant had been issued to his client.

He, therefore, asked that the order be quashed before commencing the business of the day since the defendant (Onnoghen) had appeared voluntarily.

Chairman of the Tribunal, Mr Danladi Umar, thereafter, set aside the bench warrant on the condition that he must make himself available throughout the trial.

‘Not Guilty Plea’

Thereafter, six counts were read to him, all of which he pleaded not guilty to.

Read Also: Onnoghen Arrives At CCT For Trial

 

In count one, he was accused of failing to fill and submit his assets declaration form within three months of being appointed the CJN.

The tribunal chairman then stopped the registrar from reading the charges and asked the CJN’s counsel if he wanted the plea to be read or take the applications.

But the counsel asked the court to proceed.

In count two, Onnoghen was accused of falsely declaring his asset after being sworn-in as CJN by failing to declare a domiciliary account which had been in operation since 2011.

In count three, he was accused of not declaring a domiciliary euro account with a commercial bank which had been in operation since 2011.

In count four, he was accused of falsely declaring after he was sworn in as CJN by failing to declare a pound sterling domiciliary account.

Read Also:  Buhari Promises Nigerians Free, Fair Elections In National Broadcast (Full Speech)

In count five, he was accused of failing to declare an e-saver savings account with a commercial bank which has been in operation since 2011.

In count six, he was accused of failing to declare a naira account with a commercial bank in Abuja which has been in operation since 2011.

His counsel then requested for bail in self-recognizance which was granted immediately.

He also informed the court that most members of the Tribunal will need to travel for the elections, and therefore, it would be necessary to adjourn the case until after the election – an application that was not opposed by the prosecution.

Consequently, Justice Umar agreed to adjourn the case till March 11 for the hearing of all pending applications, having taken full consideration of the plea of the defendant’s counsel, as well as the non-objection by the prosecution.

Onnoghen Arrives At CCT For Trial

 

The suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, has arrived at the Code of Conduct Tribunal for his trial.

The embattled CJN had failed to show up at the CCT since it commenced the trial.

 

CJN Suspended CJN, Walter Onnoghen, arrives at the CCT on Friday (February 15, 2019) for his trial on non-declaration of assets. Photo: Channels TV/ Soqiq Adelequn
Suspended CJN, Walter Onnoghen, arrives at the CCT for his trial on non-declaration of assets on February 15, 2019.
Photo: Channels TV/ Soqiq Adelaqun

 

Consequently, on February 13, the CCT Chairman Danladi Umar ordered his arrest.

Umar issued the warrant to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to arrest Onnoghen and bring him to the tribunal unfailingly on Friday (today).

Read Also:  CCT Orders Onnoghen’s Arrest

 

Suspended CJN, Walter Onnoghen, arrives at the CCT on Friday (February 15, 2019) for his trial on non-declaration of assets. Photo: Channels TV/ Soqiq Adelequn

 

He also directed the Director of the Department of State Services (DSS) to join in arresting the suspended CJN.

One of his lawyers, however, told Channels Television that he was not arrested but decide to make himself available to the court.

Suspended CJN, Walter Onnoghen, arrives at the CCT on Friday (February 15, 2019) for his trial on non-declaration of assets. Photo: Channels TV/ Soqiq Adelequn

 

Onnoghen is facing trial over alleged failure to declare some of his assets to the Code of Conduct Bureau.

Suspended CJN, Walter Onnoghen, arrives at the CCT on Friday (February 15, 2019) for his trial on non-declaration of assets. Photo: Channels TV/ Soqiq Adelequn

Onnoghen’s Trial: NBA Insists On Withdrawal Of Charges Against Suspended CJN

Onnoghen: Foreign Interference In Nigeria’s Internal Affairs Is 'Insulting' – FG
Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen (file)

 

Ahead of Wednesday’s proceedings at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, the Nigerian Bar Association has once again called on the Federal Government to discontinue the charges of non-declaration of assets filed against the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen.

In a statement issued by its President, Mr Paul Usoro (SAN), on Tuesday, the NBA commended the Federal Government for adhering to due process by submitting the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) petition against Justice Onnoghen to the National Judicial Council (NJC) for consideration.

The association, however, urged the government to allow the NJC conclude investigations into the two petitions so far instituted against Onnoghen at the Council, in adherence to the law and due process.

The NJC on Monday, February 11, 2019, gave Justice Onnoghen seven working days to respond to the EFCC petition against him before adjourning its sitting till Wednesday, February 13, 2019.

During Wednesday’s the sitting, the NJC is expected to review a report of its pre-assessment committee on the petitions against Justice Onnoghen and the acting CJN, Justice Tanko Muhammad.

The NBA said, “Given these nonexhaustive considerations and facts, we press on the Executive arm of the FGN to please discontinue the charge against the CJN when the matter comes up before the CCT tomorrow, Wednesday, 13 February 2019.”

Read Also: Falana Writes AGF, Asks FG To Withdraw Case Against Onnoghen

A similar demand had also been made by a constitutional lawyer and human rights activist, Femi Falana (SAN), who condemned the suspension of the CJN.

Last week, he wrote to the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, arguing that since a petition had been submitted to the NJC alleging grave misconduct against Onnoghen, it was unconstitutional to continue with his trial at the CCT.

Falana said, “The charge should not be allowed to hang like a Sword of Damocles on the head of the Chief Justice while he is being investigated by the National Judicial Council.”

According to him, “A public officer cannot be removed from office on the basis of an ex parte order granted by any court or tribunal in Nigeria, we (therefore) urge you (the AGF) to advise President Buhari to reverse the suspension of the Chief Justice.”

Appeal Court Adjourns Hearing On Onnoghen’s Suit Challenging His Suspension

 

The Appeal Court has adjourned the hearing of an appeal filed by Justice Walter Onnoghen challenging his suspension, till February 12, 2019.

The case was adjourned on the request of his lawyer who wanted the appeal heard together with two other appeals that he said were related to the trial at the CCT.

Onnoghen had last week appealed the ruling of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, ordering his suspension.

He pleaded that the chairman of the CCT and a member, Mrs Julie Anabor, had erred in law and violated the Constitution when they ordered his suspension.

He also claimed that they violated his right to a fair hearing by not giving him an opportunity for fair hearing.

He, therefore, asked the court to set aside the ruling of the CCT asking him to step aside as the Chief Justice of Nigeria and chairman of the NJC.


RELATED:

Ononghen Appeals CCT Ruling Ordering His Suspension

CCT Adjourns Onnoghen’s Trial Till February 13


 

Meanwhile, the trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal has also been adjourned till February 13.

The adjournment followed an application made by Onnoghen’s Counsel, Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), at the resumed hearing of the case on Monday.

CCT Adjourns Onnoghen’s Trial Till February 13

CCT Adjourns Onnoghen’s Trial Indefinitely
Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen (file)

 

The Code of Conduct Tribunal has adjourned the trial of Justice Walter Onnoghen to February 13, 2019.

The adjournment followed an application made by the Defence Counsel Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), at the resumed hearing of the case on Monday.

 

Awomolo informed the tribunal that the AGF had submitted a petition to the NJC on the same subject matter which necessitated the matter before the tribunal and to avoid the defendant suffering double jeopardy, the need for adjournment became imperative.

Read Also:  NJC Gives Onnoghen, Acting CJN Seven Days To Respond To Petitions

The Prosecutor Aliyu Umar (SAN) did not oppose the application.

 

Onnoghen’s Trial Resumes At CCT

CCT Adjourns Onnoghen’s Trial Indefinitely
File Photo: Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen

 

The trial of the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, has resumed at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) in Abuja.

The resumption of the case follows last Wednesday’s ruling of the Court of Appeal which dismissed the application filed by the suspended CJN seeking to stop his trial at the tribunal.


REALTED:

CCT Fixes Feb 4 For Justice Onnoghen’s Trial

Appeal Court Dismisses Onnoghen’s Suit To Stop His Trial At The CCT


The court did not only dismiss the suit but also ruled that there were no special circumstances under which the prayer of the suspended CJN could be granted in the appeal.

Meanwhile, there is another pending application challenging the jurisdiction of the CCT to try him and another where he alleges that he was denied fair hearing by the chairman of the CCT and his colleague before his suspension was ordered.

Justice Onnoghen is being tried for allegations of non-declaration of assets.

Falana Writes AGF, Asks FG To Withdraw Case Against Onnoghen

Withdraw Charges Against CJN, Falana Tells FG
File Photo: Human rights activist and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Femi Falana

 

Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, has again asked the Federal Government to withdraw the criminal charges filed against Justice Walter Onnoghen at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).

The Senior Advocate of Nigeria made the call in a letter addressed to the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, on Sunday.

He asked the minister to prevail on President Muhammadu Buhari to reverse the suspension as it is wrong for a public officer to be removed from office on the basis of an ex parte order granted by any court or tribunal in Nigeria.

Read Also:  Trial Of Onnoghen To Resume At CCT

The letter read in part, “Since the charge of false declaration of assets was filed against the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, at the Code of Conduct Tribunal by the Code of Conduct Bureau, I have repeatedly requested you to use your good offices to discontinue the case.

“My request was anchored on the case of Elelu-Habeeb vs the Attorney-General of the Federation & ORS (2012) 40 WRN 1 where the Supreme Court held that by virtue of section 292 of the Constitution of Nigeria, the head of any of the judicial arm of state and federal governments cannot be removed from office without a prior investigation conducted by the National Judicial Council.

“Having confirmed that you have since submitted a petition to the national judicial council alleging grave misconduct against the chief justice, I am compelled to request you, once again, to file a nolle prosequi to discontinue the charge pending against his lordship at the code of conduct tribunal without any further delay.

“The charge should not be allowed to hang like a sword of damocles on the head of the Chief Justice while he is being investigated by the national judicial council. In view of your implicit confidence in the ability of members of the national judicial council to resolve the matter, you ought to accede to the request to terminate the proceedings at the code of conduct tribunal forthwith.”

Falana posited that the withdrawal of the case from the Code of Conduct Tribunal would lead to the immediate vacation of the ex parte order relied upon by the president to justify the “illegal suspension” of Onnoghen and the appointment of Justice Tanko Mohammad as acting Chief Justice of Nigeria.

He said, “Even though by virtue of paragraph 10 (2) (a) of part 1 of the fifth schedule to the 1999 Constitution (as amended), the Code of Conduct Tribunal is empowered to order any public officer to vacate office, the power cannot be exercised until such a public officer has been tried and convicted for breaching the provisions of the Code of Conduct for public officers.

“But as a public officer cannot be removed from office on the basis of an ex parte order granted by any court or tribunal in Nigeria, we urge you to advise president Buhari to reverse the suspension of the Chief Justice”

Protesters Storm Kaduna Govt House, Demand Onnoghen’s Resignation

Protesters have stormed the Kaduna State Government House, demanding the resignation and subsequent prosecution of the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen.

The group under the umbrella of the Coalition of Civil Society Organizations in Kaduna State, included women and youths.

They believe that having admitted to not declaring his assets in line with the law, the CJN ought to have resigned from office, and saved himself from further embarrassment.

Read Also: Onnoghen’s Suspension: ‘Nigeria Is Not A Colony’, Oshiomhole Replies US, UK, EU

They also faulted the statement credited to the US, UK, and EU on the matter, which according to them, amounts to a clog in the fight against corruption.

Read Also: Timing Of Onnoghen’s Suspension ‘Gives Cause For Concern’ – UK

CCT Fixes Feb 4 For Justice Onnoghen’s Trial

Tribunal Not Bound To Obey High, Industrial Court Orders – CCT Chairman
Justice Umar Danladi Justice Walter Onnoghen

 

The Code of Conduct Tribunal has fixed February 4 for the resumption of alleged non-asset declaration trial against Justice Walter Onnoghen, the Chief Justice of Nigeria. 

This was contained in a statement issued on Thursday by Ibraheem Al-Hassan, the Heads, (Press & Public Relations), Code of Conduct Tribunal.

READ ALSO: Onnoghen’s Suspension: Rule Of Law, Constitution Must Be Respected, CCJA Insists

Below is the full statement.


“Press Statement

Conduct Tribunal Fixes 4th February for resumption of alleged Non asset declaration trial against Hon. Justice Walter Onnoghen.

Following Court of Appeal ruling yesterday on the trial against Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon. Justice Onnoghen Nkanu Walter, on alleged non declaration of asset before Code of Conduct Tribunal is hereby fixed for Monday, 4th of February, 2019.

The decision was reached today sequel to a correspondent from Code of Conduct Bureau, applying for the resumption of trial of the case captioned; Application for resumption of trial of the case of FRN V. Hon. Justice Onnoghen Nkanu Walter Samuel case No: CCT/ABJ/01/19, addressed to Hon. Chairman Code of Conduct Tribunal, dated 30th January, 2019, jointly signed by Musa Ibrahim Usman (Esq) and Fatima Danjuma Ali (Esq).

The request reads in part; “The above subject refers. This case came up for hearing of preliminary objection to the jurisdiction of the Tribunal on the 28th of January, 2019 but the Tribunal could not proceed due to the tendency of the case at the Court of Appeal.

“However, in the wake of this afternoon, 30th January, 2019 the Court of Appeal has thrown out the appeal.

“Consequently on the above, we urge the Honourable Tribunal to give us a date for resumption of the trial subject to the convenience of the Tribunal, Most obliged my Lord.

Ibraheem Al-Hassan,
Heads, (Press & Public Relations),
Code of Conduct Tribunal Headquarters,
Abuja.
January 31st, 2019.”


The CCT’s latest step comes barely a day after an Appeal Court in Abuja dismissed a suit filed by the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, seeking a stay of execution on his on-going trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal.

Ruling on the matter, Justice Abdul Aboki rejected the appeal, saying that the injunction is spent and the case at the CCT can continue.

The appellate court held that Justice Onnoghen’s application runs contrary to section 306 of the Administration of the Criminal Justice Act 2015 (ACJA).

Justice Aboki who read the lead ruling cited a case of Dr Bukola Saraki in which Justice Onnoghen himself at the Supreme Court declined to stay trial of Saraki on the same ground that section 306 of the new law, did not permit the stay of criminal trial.