The Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) will on Monday next week resume the trial of the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, over an alleged non-declaration of assets.
The Tribunal fixed the date following the ruling of the Court of Appeal which refused the application for stay of proceedings brought by Justice Onnoghen.
A statement issued Thursday by Ibraheem Al-Hassan, Head, Press & Public Relations, Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), confirmed that the trial in the case will resume on February 4.
Al-Hassan clarified that the date was fixed following an application by the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), for the resumption of trial.
The said application, dated January 30, and jointly signed by Musa Ibrahim Usman and Fatima Danjuma Ali 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 Junuary, 2019 but the Tribunal could not proceed due to the pendency 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.”
The Abuja division of the Court of Appeal on Wednesday refused to stay proceedings in the trial of Justice Onnoghen in the six-count charge over false declaration of assets filed against him by the Federal government before the Code of Conduct Tribunal.
The Court refused to grant the application on the grounds that section 306 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, (ACJA), 2015 does not allow a stay of proceedings in a criminal matter.
Justice Onnoghen had in a motion on notice asked the appellate Court to halt his trial at the CCT on grounds that the Tribunal erred in law when it adjourned on January 14 to rule on both his motion challenging the tribunal’s jurisdiction as well as that of the Federal Government seeking for the Tribunal’s order asking him to step aside as CJN pending the determination of the charges against him at the CCT.
However, in a unanimous decision, the 3-man panel of the Court of Appeal, led by Justice Abdul Aboki, ruled that the prayers of Onnoghen that proceedings at the Tribunal be stayed runs contrary to the provisions of section 306 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015.