28 January 2019

Nigeria: Code of Conduct Tribunal Adjourns CJN Onnoghen's Trial Indefinitely

Photo: Daily Trust
Chief Justice of Nigeria Walter Onnoghen.

The Code of Court Tribunal on Monday adjourned the trial of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, indefinitely, pending the determination of suit challenging the trial at the Court of Appeal.

The CCT chairman, Danladi Umar, made the announcement after both parties agreed to adjourn the matter.

"In view of the Court of Appeal (order) to stay proceeding, I hereby adjourn the matter sine die pending the termination of the Court of Appeal," he said.

Mr Onnoghen is accused of not fully declaring his asset after becoming the chief justice.

On Thursday, the Court of Appeal ordered the suspension of his trial, for it to decide a suit by Mr Onnoghen challenging the case.

The appeal court adjourned its main ruling on the case until January 30.

In a move countering the order to delay the trial, President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday announced the suspension of Mr Onnoghen.

The suspension, deemed unconstitutional, has sparked widespread outcry with calls for Mr Onnoghen's immediate reinstatement.

Mr Buhari says he acted on a court order from the CCT.

The hearing at the CCT on Monday lasted about 30 minutes.

The prosecution led by Musa Ibrahim requested the case be adjourned.

"Ordinarily the matter was adjourned till today for hearing of the preliminary objection filed by the CJN, but with order from Court of Appeal to suspend the trial, we would be asking for an adjournment pending d ruling of the court of appeal," he said.

Responding, the defendant counsel, Kanu Agabi, told the court that they would not object the application of the prosecution counsel to adjourn the matter, but suggested it should be indefinitely.

The head of the panel, Mr Umar, adjourned the trial indefinitely.

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